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Legal Scams Target Potential Legal Aid Clients

Legal Scams Target Potential Legal Aid Clients

Attorneys from the offices of Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) are reporting scams that have cheated potential clients out of money paid for legal services they did not receive. The complaints have generated from individuals in Erie, Huron, and Ottawa counties, although scams of this type can be found throughout the LAWO service area.

"We have learned from several victims that they have paid hundreds of dollars in fees for legal assistance from what they think is Legal Aid," says Kevin Mulder, executive director of LAWO. "We believe these potential clients are being preyed upon by individuals who are confusing people with false promises and using self-help documents and informational flyers produced by LAWO.

"LAWO is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal assistance to eligible low-income families and individuals. Most telephone white pages list Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc., however there may be other listings under Legal Aid that are not related. LAWO and its partner Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) are the only law firms that provide free legal services in 32 counties of northwest and west central Ohio.

"It's important that the public know that LAWO does not charge fees for our services," adds Mulder. "We also never initiate contact with potential clients. Applicants for legal assistance from LAWO go through a process to determine their eligibility and the type of legal help they will receive."

If you or someone you know thinks they have a 'legal aid' attorney from LAWO or ABLE without having spoken to someone from our intake office, then it may be that you are being scammed. If your 'legal aid' lawyer asks you to pay upfront fees – or fees or any kind – know that this is not an expectation or requirement of LAWO.

If you have been scammed or think someone is trying to scam you, please contact Kevin Mulder at (419) 724-0030 or toll free at 1 (877) 894-4599.