Beware: Attorney scam

To all practitioners: please take notice of a current email scam running rampant across the country, including Washington. The scam asks for your help in collecting a judgment. They offer you a very large percentage for doing very little work, by accepting payment on the judgment into your trust account, and then the scammers pressure attorneys into disbursing their agreed share of the funds before they are actually collected by the bank.

At least one attorney in Washington, apparently, has fallen victim to this, and is now looking at repaying the bank hundreds of thousands of dollars, and having a discussion with the bar association. Below is a sample email request by the scammers.

Always be very wary of any email from anyone you do not know. Never click on links in an email. If you are very certain of the source of the email, the best policy is to cut and paste links into your browser. Replying to potential scammers or spammers is only likely to increase your exposure.

Warm regards to all,
Mark Baumann


Dear Counsel.

My name is Linda Cheng. I am a contacting your firm in regards to a divorce settlement with my ex husband(Randy L. Cheng) who resides in your jurisdiction. I am currently on assignment in Japan. We had an out of court agreement for him to pay $350,450.00 plus legal fees. He has only paid me $50,000 since .I am hereby seeking your firm to represent me in collecting the balance from him. He has agreed already to pay me the balance but it is my belief that a Law firm like yours is needed to help me collect payment from my ex-husband or litigate this matter if he fails to pay as promised.

Linda Cheng.

The WSBA has also sent out an email confirming this problem. Please take great care with any unsolicited email. Also, I got a call from a lawyer in Colorado who had nearly been victimized by the same “Linda Cheng.” -Mark Baumann