Spam emails targeting lawyers have affected firms even before the early days of SEO for law firms. We work with a large number 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 older versions 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.
“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”.
Contract of Sale Emails
Collection Matter Emails
Spam Attorney Referral Services
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
All calls will be live transferred to your firm. Is this something that interests you?
Spam Emails from Marketing Agencies and SEO Consultants
Apps Legal is proud to announce the launch our new custom branded mobile for PI Law Firms.
Our PI App is now integrated with the unique ‘Automatic Car Crash Detection System’ (ACCD). Our App automatically detects a car crash using the internal sensors of the user’s smartphone. Once a crash is detected, our App sends a text and email message with the user’s location to their pre selected emergency contacts. This allowing the contacts to send help as soon as possible. A copy of the text message and email is also sent to the law firm. This potential life saving feature is a must for all users.
Other Key App Features
With over 500 PI firm clients, we are the market leader in developing custom branded Apps for PI firms in the US.
For more information on our App, please visit lawyermobapps.com.
Contact me to schedule a free demo.
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|Re: Website Issues…?|
My name is Tracy Jackson and I am a Digital Marketing Specialists for a Creative Agency.
I was doing some industry benchmarking for a client of mine when I came across your website.
I noticed a few technical errors which correspond with a drop of website traffic over the last 6-8 months which I thought I would bring to your attention.
After closer inspection it appears your site is lacking in 4 key criteria.
1- Website Speed
I can send you over the report which shows all of the above and so much more which will help you at least improve your site, its rankings and traffic.
I would love the chance to help as well however; this report will at least give you a gauge on the quality of what I do. If you are interested then please share your requirement and contact details.
Is this the best email to send it to?
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.
Stay safe out there everyone.