Spam emails targeting lawyers have affected firms even before the early days of SEO for law firms.  We work with a large amount of law firms across the country. One interesting benefit to having such wide reach is that we see A TON of the same emails that target law firms. So we took the most common spam emails targeting law firms and put them together in this blog post for you. We covered many variations of these same scams in the 2016 version of this post (here), so we are focusing on bringing specific, new examples in this post.

There are two broad categories of spam emails that we typically see our clients receiving. The first category is from low quality marketing agencies or consultants who try to solicit business from law firms by scraping contact email addresses and then blasting automated emails out. This is an extremely unethical and even shady practice, and working with agencies that engage in this should be avoided. If an agency does this, they either desperately need business or at the very least do not spend their time seeking out new clients effectively.

The second type of spam email is from people who disguise as potential clients in need of legal services for a collection or transactional representation. Often the goal here is a variation on the retainer check fraud scam.  The attorney is sent a fake check as a retainer and then asked to quickly send back the difference between the amount sent and the fees/time collected by the attorney via a foreign wire transfer. By the time the bank catches that the check is fake, the scammers have disappeared with the difference. These can sometimes be more difficult to spot, though there are often numerous red flags with these emails. Examples being frequent misspellings or grammar mistakes and an unusual request for personal details of the firm. These entries are also often submitted from email addresses with non-US domain extensions such as .jp or .ru, which is often the quickest way to spot a junk request.

The Real Risks of Scam Emails

The dangers here are many – even if you do not ultimately fall for the scam. First, even replying or engaging with these spammers can often put your email on a list of vulnerable and real email addresses. These lists are often sold or shared with other spammers. This will cause you to get a large amount of additional spam email as opposed to if you had not responded. See the example below where “details will be sent upon your reply”.

Relatedly, if these spammers are expressly using their client’s brand names as examples in these automated, spam marketing techniques – you have to ask whether they are 1.) good enough at the service they provide if their own inbound/social/SEO/content/paid search marketing techniques aren’t resulting in real leads for their own purposes; 2.) if they are willing to resort to spamming email addresses, what other automated techniques are they using or corners they are cutting as part of their clients’ campaigns; and 3.) if they are being this loose with throwing around their client’s brand names, what else are they doing with those brand names?

Finally, one of the other dangers that is often not realized is the physical act of marking these emails as ‘spam’. Often, these messages are submitted from your website’s contact form.  That contact form has an email address that it uses to send these emails on to you – often something like [email protected] Some email clients will flag your website’s email address instead of the original sender or the email address the spammer listed.  If you flag enough of these emails as spam, every email (spam and legitimate) sent from your website’s contact form could hit your spam. To avoid this, put in place CAPTCHA, RECAPTCHA, or a spam honeypot on your website’s contact form.  When spam does get through, it is best to delete spam emails generating from your website’s contact form rather than marketing them as spam.

What if the Email is Not Obviously a Scam?

Since the differences between spam and legitimate client emails can sometimes be difficult to spot, here are some real examples of spam emails our clients received over the past year.

Purchase Agreement Emails

This is a common subject for spam emails, since the details can be left extremely vague.

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
I want to inquire if your firm handle purchase transactions and sale of business or if you can assist us in drafting purchase agreement.

We understand that a proper Attorney Client Agreement must be entered into by both parties and your consideration of our request is highly anticipated.

Please if this is not your area of practice we will appreciate it if you can refer us or forward our message to a business attorney that can handle the transaction for us.We look forward to your prompt response.

 

“I shall give you the details as soon as you reply to my request”

Again, this is an obvious red flag. Clients should not wait for you to respond to divulge information about their “case”.

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Good Day,

I am contacting your firm to help us handle a collection matter we believe you are capable to handle such matter, I shall give you the details as soon as you reply to my request.

Contract of Sale Emails

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
I am negotiating with a potential buyer about selling my yacht to them. Your professional assistance is needed in drafting the sale contract.

I will appreciate your response if you can help. Thank you.

Collection Matter Emails

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Good Day,

I am contacting your firm to help us handle a collection matter we believe you are capable to handle such matter, I shall give you the details as soon as you reply to my request.

 

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Does your firm handles Litigation Matters.

 

Spam Attorney Referral Services

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Hi XXXX,

I’m reaching out specifically because you handle personal injury cases. By chance, do you have availability to take on Auto Accidents generated from local TV stations in Philadelphia? We are offering pre-screened auto accident leads that meet the following criteria:

* Injured in a car/truck/motorcycle accident
* Not at fault
* No attorney
* Within the last two years

All calls will be live transferred to your firm. Is this something that interests you?

XXXX
XXX-XXX-XXXX

Spam Emails from Marketing Agencies and SEO Consultants

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Hello Team, I am XXXX, I’m a Social Media And SEO Specialist with seven years of experience. I have been working in this fields for many years. Quality content in every form drives traffic and underpins social media. Google also promotes websites with quality output and rewards social signals. So what are you waiting for? We can help you achieve your goals for 2017. Here I am sending you some quality sites please have a look: tonybennettlaw.com, jtlaw.net, fitzlawoffice.com. Please contact me with your requirements.

Let’s work! Regards!
XXXX

 

XXX
[email protected]
xxx-xxx-xxxx
XXXX,

Many studies have been done over the last 8 months to determine what causes some law firm websites to naturally climb above others in google. This short video shares the finer points of the research. 

We hope you enjoy the analysis: Pennsylvania car accident law firms llevininjuryfirm.com and myinjuryattorney.com

Click here: [link removed]

Tom

 

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Hi, I am XXX from XXXX technology. I would love to do SEO for your website so It can be visible on Google’s first page for maximum keywords. Doing this will help you get better conversions. We do SEO, SMO, PPC, ORM and Content Writing at right prices. Revert back if you need great SEO services from Industry Experts.

Regards –

 

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
HI,

I do NOT need legal help – I am calling for a different reason. I work for 130 different attorneys throughout the United States, and I have a simple proposition that will benefit your website and ours.

One of my attorney clients would like to place a link from his website to your website, which will elevate you in Google’s eyes and help you get higher up in Google results.

In return, we ask for a link from your website to a different attorney client of ours. No money exchanges hands, the links are not reciprocal, and both parties benefit.

This is NOT a ‘black hat’ technique, or anything that violates Googles’ terms of service. 100% straight up, legitimate, tit for tat.

Are you open to this simple arrangement?

Please reply regardless,

 

XXXX
XXX-XXX-XXXX
[email protected]
Dear Owner,

I recently spent some time on your website. Based on what I saw, there are a few things you could implement pretty quickly that would help boost your Google rankings, traffic, social media,conversion
and LOCAL SEO.

We are also into website design, development and can redesign your website.

Not sure what your initiatives are in this area, but is this something that’s on your radar?

 

XXXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Hi my name is XXXX, I wanted to speak to you because I invented a software for generating clients for personal injury lawyers and I wanted to give you a 7 DAY FREE TRIAL because I’m sure if you use it for 7 days for free, you will never want to stop using it.

 

XXXX
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Greetings,XXXX  is proud to announce the launch of our new ‘Personal Injury Mobile App’. After having successfully developed the Version 1 of our App for over 300 PI firms, we carried out extensive research, talked to several prominent PI lawyers, understood their real needs and finally created an App that not only helps PI firms in branding and marketing but also simplifies many tasks of their existing clients.

Branding and Marketing Features:
1) Accident Kit
2) Important Personal Injury Resources
3) Find Emergency Services
4) Easy Client Referral via Social Media

Client Management Features:
1) Client Pain Journal
2) Client Task/Calendar Management
3) Client Expense Management

For more information visit our website XXXX

Please contact me to schedule a demo of our App.

XXX
[email protected]
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Dear Entrepreneur,

Hope everything is fine at your end!

This is XXXX, a digital branding expert by profession. I examined your website and came to know that you may be concerned with gaining new customers and losing less business to your competitors.

Allow me to analyze and figure out the factors that contribute to low Search Engine results and take vital steps to bring more customers and sales.

My complete Analysis will give you clear insights for:

• Why your website rank is behind of your competitors?
• How to get enough Organic Traffic and Sales?
• Strategy to get many customers through Social Media.
• Guaranteed First Page ranking on Search Engines.
• Getting business through Mobile Optimization.

After your confirmation, I would be glad to provide you with further details or Digital Branding Proposal of your website, and then arrange a time to speak with you over the phone or Skype.

Eagerly awaiting for your quick response.

—–

P.S: – This is our marketing strategy to use a Gmail account. Once you reply us back, we will communicate with you through our corporate Email ID.

ZERO-DOWN SEO SERVICES

Not only is this a red flag due since the SEO sales pitch is coming in through an unprompted email, but a ‘zero down payment’ until page 1 rankings are achieved is a shady business practice for an SEO agency as they typically target very low competition keywords that often cannibalize actual phrases and queries that would be more likely to lead to new business.

XXXX
XXX-XXX-XXXX
[email protected]
Search Engine Optimization
Hello, I was wondering if you would be interested in a free trial of putting your website on page 1 of Google organic results. I will not charge you anything up front and you will ONLY be charged IF I can actually get you on page 1. I want to earn your trust and prove myself before charging anything. I only work with lawyers so let me If you are interested.
XXXX
[email protected]

 

Stay safe out there everyone – and here is to a prosperous 2018!

 

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