If you or someone you know has been charged with a retail fraud (shoplifting) offense, be on the look out for letters from alleged attorneys claiming that they represent the business and ask you to pay a fee to avoid civil lawsuit.  They are kind enough to even offer to accept a credit card payment over the phone.  Some of these letters look professional.  If you call the phone number they provide, you may find them to be very willing to take your credit card; however, if you ask any questions, they become evasive.

If you have been charged, you may have a retained or court appointed counsel.  A professional and ethical attorney knows to speak to you only through your attorney.  Moreover, if there is a conviction, the court may and usually orders restitution as part of the sentence.  Thus, there should be no need for the business to send you the alleged demand letter.

If you or someone you knows receives of these letters, seek the advice of local and trusted attorney before offering up payment.