Following her September 2017 appearance on CNBC's "Nightly Business Report," Partner Dyan Finguerra-DuCharme returned to the program for a segment exploring ways to identify and avoid scams involving intellectual property.
Speaking with reporter Andrea Day, Finguerra-DuCharme revealed that she is regularly contacted by clients to assess the legitimacy of emails they've received from unknown senders. In one such instance - which turned out to be a scam - a client received an invoice seeking payment via credit card to purportedly process a trademark application. The invoice requested credit card details and other sensitive financial information.
Due to a rise in this type of fraudulent activity, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued warnings to consumers, urging them to "beware of unofficial trademark solicitations," similar to the scam experienced by Finguerra-DuCharme's client.
When asked if any clients have ever fallen for these scams, she told CNBC, "Many of them have." To avoid being duped by this type of fraud, Finguerra-DuCharme advises, "it's okay to be rude. It's okay to hang up the phone [and] not continue a conversation."
Another growing threat, known as the business email compromise, involves fake emails distributed to employees which claim to be from top executives. "We get this all the time. We've had clients duped. Someone in accounting believes it was the CFO that directed them to send money, then it gets sent and we've got a problem," Finguerra-DuCharme said.
Other red flags Finguerra-DuCharme cautions clients against include calls from unknown persons claiming they've won a sweepstakes they never entered. "Ultimately," she said, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
To watch the full interview, please click here.
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