A new scam is affecting North Carolina lawyers. The North Carolina State Bar reported that a company contacted a North Carolina lawyer purporting to be an authorized trust account auditing agency.
The North Carolina State Bar has learned that a caller representing an entity named "Small Business Growth Alliance" is calling lawyers and telling them that their IOLTA accounts are due for audit. The caller falsely claims that Small Business Growth Alliance is authorized by the State Bar to perform random audits and tries to schedule the audits.
Neither Small Business Growth Alliance nor any entity other than the State Bar is authorized to perform a State Bar random trust account audit. Auditors who are employees of the State Bar perform all random trust account audits. If you are selected for a random State Bar audit, you will be contacted by a State Bar official and will receive a written subpoena signed by State Bar officials.
If you receive a call from anyone other than an employee of the State Bar seeking to arrange a State Bar random trust account audit, please report the call to the State Bar immediately at (919) 828-4620 and, if possible, provide the caller's contact information.
As a reminder, good risk management practices to safeguard your firm include:
- Never give out sensitive information over the phone or via email.
- Hover over any link in an email to verify that it leads to webpage shown in the text and that it is the destination you wish to visit. For the safest practice, type the website into your browser instead of clicking the link. If in doubt that the website listed is correct, use search to find the page you want to visit.
- Do not open attachments that come from unknown senders or that come unexpectedly.
- Always verify suspicious requests using previously known contact information, or found through independent research, and not contact information provided in the request.
If you have any questions regarding scams and cybersecurity, please contact Lawyers Mutual.