Comment 8: Unexpected Delays and Even Scammers Learn New Tricks

The ABA Rules of Professional Conduct, Model Rule 1.1 Comment 8 requires, “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer shall keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” To that end, we have developed this regular series to develop the competence and skills necessary to responsibly choose and use the best technologies for your educational and professional lives. If you have any questions, concerns, or topics you would like to see discussed, please reach out to


Unfortunately, the universe has conspired in such a way that the follow-up to last month’s blog about cookies will be postponed into the new year. In its stead, I offer this short blog about some changes in how to protect yourself from phone scams. We’ll pick this up next time.


For a long time security professionals have advised calling a number that you have when you think that you are speaking with a potential scammer. For example, don’t call the phone number they give you for your credit card’s fraud department, call the number on the back of your credit card. Unfortunately, scammers have been adapting to this technique. A new technique allows scammers to “line-trap” your phone for up to several minutes. In fact, the scammer will encourage you to hang up with them and call another source to verify what they are telling you; but when you hang up and dial the scammers still have you on the line and you’re just talking to them again. What can you do to protect yourself? First, you can wait ten or fifteen minutes before following up with anybody. Scammers try to create situations where you are rushed and can’t think straight: there is nothing that can’t wait. Next, you can call somebody from another phone entirely. Have a landline in your office, a neighbor who still has one, or somebody else who you can borrow their phone? All good alternatives.