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Apparently the scams continue. Recently I had the pleasure of being contacted by the CEO of a major multinational Japanese corporation to connect on LinkedIn. In looking over the profile, it looked very complete, with an article on LinkedIn Pulse, and one recommendation from an attorney in New York. Still, I thought it was a little strange for him to be reaching out to me. After some consultation with a few business associates who also looked at the profile and thought it looked alright, I went ahead and accepted the invitation.

Then suddenly the next day I was asked by this person if I could handle a $650K claim! Naturally, all alarm bells went off and it didn't take long to realize that I was the focus of a potential scam. If I and my business associates would have looked at the profile more closely, we would have seen some very telling signs that even before I accepted the invitation to connect, things were just not right. Here are a few of them:
  • In looking over the the 260 or so connections that he has, almost all were commercial collection and bankruptcy attorneys here in the US. It is not likely that those would be the primary business contacts for the CEO of a Japanese corporation.
  • Why would the CEO of a major multinational Japanese corporation be reaching out to ME?
  • Instead of incorporating the company name into the domain of the email address, the email address was a gmail account.
  • The content of the profile was cut and pasted from the company’s website. After getting the collection request, I contacted a good associate of mine who has business in Japan to do more research. He tried to call the numbers listed and as expected, they did not go through.
The upshot is that we have to always be vigilant with whom we’re connecting on LinkedIn. If someone is just too far out of our circle, profession and industry, that by itself should probably be a huge warning sign to ignore the request. The sad part of this scam is that a real CEO's profile appears to have been hijacked without his knowledge; and this type of situation makes it more difficult for legimate international clients to make the contacts they need. Whenever possible, I make the connection with our listees and our international forwarders personally; or at least they use my name or reference ALQ as the introduction..

Click here to learn more about how to report a suspicious profile on LinkedIn.

Thomas W. Hamilton

 Industry Articles and Information

Why meetings matter more than you think
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The future of compliance
Inside Counsel
Technology helps in-house counsel improve corporate compliance efforts.
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TCPA litigation: How can companies protect themselves?
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Many companies think of the TCPA as a statute that is only relevant to telemarketers. But the statute’s reach is not so limited.
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5 technologies that will increase your cash flow this year
Want to get a business owner's attention? Tell us how we can increase our cash flow. Yes, we have passion, commitment, love and belief in what we do. But in the end we're doing what we do for cash. And anything that helps us increase our cash flow is something we want to know about. So here are five technologies you should know about if that's what you're interested in doing this year.
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5 secrets to managing your business while traveling
Traveling the world and running a business at the same time seems like a glamorous lifestyle: You can work from anywhere you want, make your own schedule and be your own boss.
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3 common lawyer trust account (IOLTA) mistakes
Law Practice Management
Mismanaging a trust account can have terrible consequences on a lawyer's career, even sometimes to the point of disbarment. Yet law schools do an abysmal job of training law students on how to handle an IOLTA trust account.
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 Thought of the Day

"With a wonderful business, you can figure out what will happen; you can't figure out when it will happen. You don't want to focus on when, you want to focus on what. If you're right about what, you don't have to worry about when." — Warren Buffet

What our clients have to say:
ALQ has been a big help to AMS over the years. The quality of attorney referrals has assisted us in recovering more funds for our clients, not to mention keeping our clients happy along the legal road. It's more than comforting to know that when we need their help, ALQ is there to assist us.

— Robert Ash, Paralegal, Legal Dept. Manager, Allen Maxwell & Silver Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Windtberg & Zdancewicz, PLC has formed a lasting strategic relationship with the American Lawyer’s Quarterly. The relationship exists because we receive quality referrals and can reasonably rely on ALQ's high-caliber professional services. Our firm benefits by the superior referrals we receive from ALQ's other strategic partners, and, when we are referring matters outside of Arizona we use the ALQ resources to locate well-respected and knowledgeable collection professionals. We value the personal relationship the ALQ team brings to the profession and appreciate getting thorough and complete answers to any questions we present to the ALQ team.

— Michael Zdancewicz, Attorney, Windtberg & Zdancewicz PLC, Phoenix, AZ

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