SC lawyers targeted in serious scams

The Bar has received numerous reports of several sophisticated, convincing scams currently circulating that target S.C. lawyers. They involve actual companies and people, and plausible facts. Besides e-mail, the “clients” may actually call the lawyers to further enhance the “legitimacy” of the scam. However, checks sent to the lawyers, according to the financial institutions where presented, are fraudulent; often they are real checks that have been altered. Scams include the companies Red Band UK and Bernard Stilwell Architects. While these are legitimate companies, they are being used as part of the scam. Please be aware that not all scams rely solely on e-mail and to thoroughly investigate all new matters, particularly where a foreign entity/person is involved. And never disburse funds from your trust account until you are sure they are good. For more on trust accounting refer to Trust Accounting and Financial Recordkeeping in South Carolina by Barbara Seymour. Unfortunately, unless you have actually been defrauded, there is little that you can do other than report the scam and warn others. For a thorough examination of cybercrime and law firms, read this issue of LawPRO magazine. The article on Commercial Debt Collection Fraud is particularly instructive.

Disposing of your old PCS

Today’s short technology life span mandates replacing old computers and devices every few years. What do you do with your old PCs after you don’t want them anymore? Electronic waste (e-waste) can contain many toxic elements, so it’s important to dispose of your old devices properly. Read this article to learn more about the world’s growing e-waste problem. Another big concern when getting rid of old computers is ensuring that your private data doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Darik’s Boot and Nuke is a popular free utility that will wipe your hard drive, making data unrecoverable. For more info on how to properly dispose of your outdated electronics, head over to PMAP’s Disposing of Old Computers page.

R.I.P TrueCrypt

A few weeks ago, news broke that the popular encryption tool TrueCrypt has been retired. Since the announcement, the tech world has been abuzz with speculation about what happened with TrueCrypt, but there are no clear answers at this point. So if TrueCrypt was your go-to for encryption, where do you turn now for your encryption needs? Windows Bitlocker is a viable replacement for TrueCrypt. Bitlocker is included in Windows 8 and also available on Windows vista and 7 Ultimate or Enterprise editions. Click here for a Beginner’s Guide to Bitlocker. If you don’t have the right version of Windows for BitLocker, DiskCryptor, an open encryption solution, is another option. For more alternative encryption tools, click here.

Be Prepared this Hurricane Season!

Hurricane season officially began on June 1st. Does your firm have a plan to deal with natural disasters or other disasters, like computer crashes or fires? Visit the Bar’s disaster preparedness page for resources and articles to help with creating your firm’s disaster plan. It has lots of checklists and guides for building a business continuity plan for your office. Even if your firm already has a plan in place, now is a great time to review and update your firm’s disaster procedures.

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