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Phillips Murrah announces 37 attorneys named to 2018 Best Lawyers list

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that 37 of our attorneys have been named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 list in Oklahoma City.

The Best Lawyers in America 2018

Jennifer Ivester Berry – Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Real Estate Law

Douglas A. Branch – Securities / Capital Markets Law; Venture Capital Law

Elizabeth K. Brown – Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates

Michael D. Carter – Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Rodney L. Cook – Insurance Law

Bobby Dolatabadi – Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law

Jason A. Dunn – Commercial Litigation

Joshua L. Edwards – Real Estate Law

Marc Edwards – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Commercial Litigation; Government Relations Practice

Nicholle Jones Edwards – Family Law

Shannon K. Emmons – Commercial Litigation; Employment Law – Management; Employment Law – Individuals

Juston R. Givens – Commercial Litigation

Sally A. Hasenfratz – Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Construction Law; Land Use and Zoning Law; Real Estate Law

Terry L. Hawkins – Public Finance Law

Heather L. Hintz – Commercial Litigation

Timothy D. Kline – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy

Fred A. Leibrock – Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law; Litigation – Antitrust; Litigation – ERISA; Litigation – Real Estate

Candace Williams Lisle – Commercial Litigation

Mark Lovelace – Banking and Finance Law; Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Commercial Transactions / UCC Law

Melvin R. McVay, Jr. – Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Banking and Finance; Litigation – Bankruptcy; Litigation – Real Estate

Andrew S. Mildren – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Government Relations Practice

Jennifer L. Miller – Commercial Litigation

Cindy H. Murray – Real Estate Law

Robert O. O’Bannon – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Tax Law

Martin G. Ozinga – Commercial Litigation

Donald A. Pape – Banking and Finance Law

Michael R. Perri – Commercial Litigation; Energy Law; Natural Resources Law; Oil and Gas Law

William S. Price – Government Relations Practice

Dawn M. Rahme – Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates

Mary Holloway Richard – Health Care Law

Jim A. Roth – Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Environmental Law; Government Relations Practice; Natural Resources Law

G. Calvin Sharpe – Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

Robert N. Sheets – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Land Use and Zoning; Litigation – Real Estate

Ellen K. Spiropoulos – Corporate Law

Lyndon W. Whitmire – Commercial Litigation; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Thomas G. Wolfe – Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Raymond E. Zschiesche – Commercial Litigation; Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Oklahoma Bankers Association marks increase in check, wire fraud attempts

Oklahoma Bankers Association recently issued a Fraud Alert, a notice seldom sent to its members. The notice brings to light increases in two types of fraud at banks: Check fraud and wire fraud.

Regarding check fraud attempts, banks have reported receiving “account funds availability” verification calls on existing accounts, followed by a call from the “customer” who claims to be sending someone to the bank to cash a large check.

OBA said that the surge in check fraud is due to “social engineering,” defined as using deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information. They added that recent fraud attempts have been valued in the tens of thousands of dollars.

“This is a regular issue we’re seeing, and I would be most apprehensive about social engineering,” said Don Pape, an Of Counsel Attorney at Phillips Murrah who specializes in banking law. “There are people who will, in essence, test the security of large companies and will manage to move into the company. Employees need to be cautious when receiving requests from people they don’t know well, and be diligent when verifying wire transfer requests.”

OBA suggests banks consider having a manager involved in the process of dispensing large amounts of cash. Managers should follow up calls from the alleged “customer” with a call to the customer number on file. This procedure is similar to that of wire fraud protection procedures, they said.

Hackers are watching

A surge of wire fraud activity has also been linked to social engineering, whereas cyber criminals hack into business emails for extended periods of time and mimic emails requesting wire transfers within a company. They are able to seem more authentic by replicating language patterns and having knowledge of a customer’s daily activities.

“The problem comes in when banks call back a customer to verify a transfer and ‘Partner A’ confirms based on what ‘Partner B’ says without realizing ‘Partner B’ was actually the person hacking the account and making the fraudulent request,” said Elaine Dodd, Executive Vice President of OBA’s Fraud Division. “Hackers previously observed email activity for 229 days. We’ve seen an increase to 300 days for hackers to gather information about a victim’s family or daily appointments in order to send fraudulent emails at the most opportune time, likely when the victim is off work or on vacation.”

There is an increased amount of information fraudsters have on customers, and this is contributed to any number of recent massive data breaches, Dodd said.

“Really scrutinize where a wire fund request email comes from,” she advised. “If something feels wrong, little details can clarify a source.”

For example, she recommended that the recipient should closely check the sender’s email address to be sure it’s authentic.

“Usually, the change is nothing substantial, perhaps a period or letter,” She added. “The best thing to do to be safe is pick up the phone and call the person requesting wire.”

OBA provides retail training on this topic to help bankers better inform and protect customers.

“Stay safe out there,” Dodd said. “I encourage anyone who has working knowledge of these types of frauds to share in their social circle, business and social. We could all be at risk.”