The Wall Street Journal says that since 2009, elaborate bogus check email scams have defrauded lawyers of at least $70 million:
While many online scams target gullible consumers or individuals, in recent years attorneys have become attractive prey. That is in part because they increasingly rely on Internet referrals to draw clients and conduct much of their business via email, lawyers and law-enforcement officials say. And despite repeated warnings from law-enforcement agencies and bar associations about collections scams, some lawyers continue to fall for them.
According to the story, the scams began in 2007 and peaked in 2010. Almost 750 fraud complaints have been filed with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, 167 of them since 2011. And there may be many more:
Law firms that have been duped are sometimes reluctant to admit the fact and may opt to quietly replace the missing money instead of reporting it to the authorities, Mr. Di Rienzo said. "Let's face it," he said. "You don't want your clients hearing that."