Commercial debt collection scam by Daniel Smith or Howard Fox of Bristol Medical Equipment Ltd

October 24, 2011 By: Tim Lemieux Category: Fraud warning

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:danielsmith4449@yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 9:38 AM
To: lawyer name
Subject: RE

Dear Counsel,

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
Suite 110
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.


Daniel Smith
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 fraudinfo@lawpro.ca.

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.

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8 Responses to “Commercial debt collection scam by Daniel Smith or Howard Fox of Bristol Medical Equipment Ltd”

  1. Theodore Ely says:

    I thought that you would like to know that this scam is now in Pennsylvania.

  2. Laura Davis says:

    This scam e-mail was received in Michigan as well.

  3. Richard Dorsey says:

    This scam is also in Missouri

  4. Jay says:

    Ohio too!

  5. Jason says:

    A similar version of this scam now exists in Minnesota (and possibly other states). Instead of a collection agency, it now involves an online job offer doing accounting/billing for a company and its clients/vendors.

    I applied to a job through my alma mater’s job placement website. It claimed to be an in-town accounting/billing position. I submitted my resume through the job placement site.

    A few days later the guy e-mailed me back, saying that he ran a company called Theros Equipment (which is a real company in Virginia). He told me he’d e-mail me client transactions, I’d process them, e-mail them back, and he’d pay me 10% of the invoice amount. A little odd, but not completely fraudulent sounding – until I got the next e-mail. In his first e-mail, he wanted me to reply, confirming my interest, plus some personal info (name, address, phone, but NOT my SSN or bank info).

    Then a couple of days ago, I got the big scam e-mail. He wanted me to monitor a fedex payment (with tracking #), then deposit that check in my personal bank account for 24 hours. Then I was to take that amount (less my 10% commission) and send it to the client, whose address is in the Phillipines. I checked the tracking info and the package is currently in a neighboring city. I have not responded to this last e-mail, and I have reported this to the FTC and LAWPRO. I am very concerned since this scammer now knows my real name and address, and there’s no way I could have avoided this (since he posted a legitimate looking but fake job posting on a job placement site that I responded to with my resume).

  6. Don says:

    Now it’s in California too.

    Basically what everything Jason said except I need to send the money to a client from MI 49040.

    I have the check from the package but there’s no way I’ll deposit it in my bank account.

    I tried calling the number provided by Daniel Smith and It’s a magic jack number which is really shady.

    After a while, he called me back with a blocked number and I explained to him that I won’t continue the assignment he gave me.

    I recorded our conversations so if ever i get sued, I have something.

  7. maggie says:

    The scam is also in Illinois

  8. myrle mackenzie says:

    I received today an email suggesting I owed some amount that I need to pay or I will be sued and it will become $6500
    I am in sales and live in Minnesota
    glad you folks have this scam posted

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