Commercial debt collection scam by David Lawson
Date First Reported: July 2011
Primary Name Associated: David Lawson
Description of Potential Fraud:
On the heels of warnings of commercial debt collection fraud scams by Ma Li Ni , Mark Rudic, and Dr Richard Abramovic, we’ve been made aware of a very similar message using the name David Lawson. This person is seeking to retain a lawyer to collect a business debt. For details of how this fraud works see our Fraud Fact Sheet.
Here is partial transcript of the correspondence between one lawyer and the fraudster, as well as the documentation sent to support the fraud:
I am contacting you in regards to a breach of business loan agreement with a client in Ontario. I provided a loan to him so that he can meet up with his management and operational obligation during the rough economic climate. I provided him with an emergency loan of $380,000 with a term of 12 months and fixed interest rate of 12.25%. The repayment period has since elapsed but he has been unable to finalize the repayment of the loan and have only paid $147,000 till date. Let me know if this falls under the scope of your practice so that I can provide you with more information on this matter.
Hello David, attached is the retainer agreement I would ask you to review, sign and return to me by fax. If you have any questions about the terms of the agreement, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also Please provide me with a copy of the loan agreement Mr. Duboa signed with you and all other pertinent details with respect to the terms of this loan and its repayment. I look forward to representing you in this matter.
I received an important communication from Samuel taht I feel can help our case. I have forwarded it to you in a separate email. Kindly confirm receipt and lets see if he keeps to his word. I will send you a copy of my id and td credit card when I get home tonight and also have the other pages I need to sign to you.
The fraudster then provided the lawyer with a “transcript” of emails between himself and the purported debtor. This can be viewed below:
Lawson Forwarded messages
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 [email protected]
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.
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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.