ILLINOIS: A leading international aviation lawyer says he is disgusted at reports scammers are targeting families of passenger on Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 with fake compensation claims.
Floyd Wisner, principal of Chicago based Wisner Law, has represented passengers and families of almost every major air disaster for the past two decades and says that families have been through enough over the past five weeks.
"It is shameful that any person would attempt to take advantage of people in this state of vulnerability and I hope that law enforcement is investigating.
"This has been five weeks of hell for families, from misinformation, to confused information, to lawyers making improper claims and now scammers attempting to fleece them for money."
The respected attorney was referring to recent reports that a bogus email purporting to come from Malaysia Airlines has been sent to families, requesting they contact a Malaysian bank to arrange compensation. However the email reportedly advises that 'administrative charges' must be paid before funds are released.
Mr Wisner said families should be aware that no fee should ever be required to access legitimate compensation and that they should "seek professional and experienced aviation counsel to protect their rights."
He recently revealed that he had spoken to families of passengers who were forming a "families association" in order to present a united front and discuss their claims as a group, through aviation counsel, with the insurers of Malaysia Air.
"Because this is such a sensitive and distressing time for relatives, it is even more important for them to have accurate legal advice.
"Compensation is on their minds because many have been dramatically impacted financially, physically and emotionally, but it must be negotiated compassionately with the best interests of the families as the only objective."
Legal information for families of passengers can be found at www.malaysia370.com.