Lawyers in California and Arizona have been receiving emails from the purported Daniel Smith or Howard Fox with regards to a commercial debt litigation scam. Its probably only a matter of time before Ontario lawyers see them too. For examples of other names attached to this kind of fraud see our Confirmed Fraud Page. For an explanation of how this fraud works see our Fraud Fact Sheet.
Here is an example of the message:
From: Daniel Smith [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 9:38 AM
To: lawyer name
Thank you for your earnest response.
I represent. Bristol medical equipment ltd. and it is the UK arm of medical supplies.The company distributes a wide range of medical and surgical supplies. While it supplies such operating room basics as sutures and fluid administration equipment, it also makes larger computer-assisted surgery guidance systems and implant materials. Orthopaedic implants and devices for trauma care are supplied from the company’s to other general health care centers. Its Sterilog facilities provide equipment sterilization services for hospitals. Its disposable products are destined for use in hospitals, medical offices, and home care settings.We Import our products from North America and Europe.
We request your representation to counsel us in litigation and enable us recoup the funds owed to our company.We do appreciate your time in reviewing our request,We are ready to work with you to achieve our goal as the importance of your services.
We are of the opinion that once our presence is established in your state via a legal representative,our seller will comply with payment request and accompanied with legal action and litigation will push for the accounts to be paid attention to effectively.We understand the concept of running a conflict check that is why we are providing our delinquent seller located in your state for your conflict check.
Universal Hospital Services, Inc
2135 S. 11TH Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85007
This particular seller owes approx. $490,220.00 and the delivery is overdue as our regular purchase agreement requires seller to effect goods not later than 60 days upon payment or legal action may be enforced if delivery delay exceeds 90 days. We happened to have placed an order of medical supplies worth $980,440.00, and they demanded we pay 50 percent of the funds before delivering our products. Payment to this seller was made in 22nd March of 2011 and our calculation shows that delivery are Months late.
It will be very helpful if we receive your standard retainer agreement. This will enable our board decide on the conditions of the retainer in our next board meeting. Also once we have reviewed your agreement I will forward you supporting documents ie., proof of payment, sales invoice, so your firm can start working on this case. It’s not my company policy to give out documents when we have not agreed on retaining your firm.
We thank you for your business as we look forward to your prompt response.
Bristol medical equipment ltd
20 surrey close,Granby industrial estate,
weymouth, dorset, dty 7ty Uk
How to handle a real or suspected fraud
If you have been targeted by any of these frauds, please forward any of the emails and supporting documents that you have received to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you suspect you are acting on a matter that might be a fraud, call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899). We will talk you through the common fraud scenarios we are seeing and help you spot red flags that may indicate you are being duped. This will help you ask appropriate questions of your client to determine if the matter is legitimate or not. If the matter you are acting on turns out to be a fraud and there is a potential claim, we will work with you to prevent the fraud and minimize potential claims costs.
If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you.
For more immediate updates on fraud and claims prevention, subscribe to the email or RSS feed updates from LAWPRO’s AvoidAClaim blog.
Fraud Fact SheetMore fraud prevention information and resources are available on the practicePRO Fraud page, including the Fraud Fact Sheet, a handy reference for lawyers and law firm staff that describes the common frauds and the red flags that can help identify them.