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How to Prevent Falling Victim to Law Site Scams

— March 1, 2024

If you do come across a fake law firm site, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

As the increased use of AI assists scammers and impersonators, it is more important than ever to be on the lookout for fake sites, especially when searching for a reputable law firm. These fake sites affect not only those looking to hire a lawyer but also the lawyer and law firm’s reputation. 

In fact, the Internet Crime Complaint Center received a total of 800,944 reported complaints in 2022, showing that consumers need to be cautious about fake sites. Cesar Cobo, COO of Webris, a legal marketing agency, shares five easy ways to ensure that the law firm site you are considering is legitimate. 

Deep Dive into Research

Just because a law firm site ranks at the top of Google, and has a business page, does not make it legitimate. Dive deeper into the site to make sure it is not a scam.

“Scammers can quickly create sites and business pages that include fake positive reviews. Chances are, if a law firm site feels fake or too good to be true, it most likely is,” Cesar says.

Pay Attention to Spelling Errors

When searching on the law firm’s site, pay attention to any spelling errors. Most fake law firm sites are made quickly, and spelling errors are common. 

“Some scammers will even copy and paste another law firm’s descriptions onto the fake site. If the site has numerous grammatical errors and plagiarism, it’s better to stay away,” recommends Cesar.

Find the Practicing Lawyers

Fake law sites most likely will not have a list of practicing lawyers, as it is required for law firm sites to have the proper credentials and licensing in order to practice law. 

“If a site does have a list of practicing lawyers, search for state bar associations that can provide accurate information for the lawyer, including where they are currently working, licensing, and additional information,” Cesar says.

Woman with tablet reviewing documents; image by ijeab, via
Woman with tablet reviewing documents; image by ijeab, via

Check the Location

Fake law firm sites will have random addresses on their site that do not correlate to the law firm. Cesar recommends always double-checking the location that is listed to ensure that it is accurate.

Read Reviews

Always search for reviews of the site you are looking at to see if it is reputable. Besides making sure that the site is not a fake legal site, this can give you an idea of how the law firm works with others and if it will be a positive experience. 

“Use a few different sites for reviews, and pay attention to the language used. Some fake sites may use fake reviews that are repetitive in nature,” Cesar comments. 

If you do come across a fake law firm site, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Using these precautions can assist those searching online for a secure law firm site and prevent being scammed. 

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