This page displays information on recent scams targeting Oregon lawyers, firms and courts that have been reported to the OSB. Details and links are provided below and new information will be added as received.
To report a new scam, please call us or send a detailed email to email@example.com.
Unemployment Scam – February 2021
Numerous OSB members report that unemployment claims have been filed under their names with the Oregon Employment Division. Most discovered the scam through emails or letters to their employers referring to these claims. If you believe you may have been a victim of this scam, please report to the Employment Department here: https://secure.emp.state.or.us/public/IDTheftReporting/compose.cfm?lang=E
Oregon State Bar Referral Services Scam – September 2020
Some OSB members have received an email message with the subject line "I was referred to you by the Bar Referral Services. Do advise if your firm handles Litigation Cases." The email is a scam. The bar's referral service makes referrals only to its panel members, and those lawyers receive an email confirmation whenever a referral is made.
Oregon State Bar Dues Scam – January 2020
Numerous Oregon State Bar members have received an email that appears to come from the OSB, with a link to pay 2020 dues. The link embedded in the email address is “firstname.lastname@example.org.” To pay your fees, or check OSB status, you can log in to your password-protected dashboard on the Oregon State Bar website at www.osbar.org.
Cashier's Check Scam -- November 2019
An OSB member has reported that a version of the “cashier's check” scam targeting lawyers is active in Oregon. This one involves a supposed client needing help collecting a settlement check related to employment discrimination. Although the Oregon lawyer who reported this did not proceed beyond a simple email exchange, the Florida bar has details on the full extent of the scam on its website:
Email Phishing – October 2019
A member has reported a probable scam from a person claiming to need a personal injury lawyer following a fall in a hospital parking lot. The person claims to have sent documents to the targeted lawyer's office.
Email Phishing – July 2019
Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) email system was compromised in a phishing attack in mid-July. Exercise caution in clicking on unknown links and verify the origin of emails, even from recognized sources. More information here: https://www.osbar.org/_docs/resources/OJD-Notice-of-Phishing-Incident.pdf.
At least one Oregon firm had a job applicant who had used a national company to create a fictitious but fairly sophisticated employment history. The fabrications included fake law firm web sites to represent previous employers listed on a resume, and live people answering phones to provide the references. The firm caught the scam, but it raised concerns about client vulnerability if these scams are successful. For more information, research the growing “fake job reference” industry.
For timely updates on scams in Oregon, including an archive of recent scams, see the Department of Justice's resource page here: https://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer-protection/sales-scams-fraud/report-scams-fraud/