Commercial debt collection scam by Steven Bessant, Jerry Steven or Bailey Chandler of Carrington Career & Workwear [Updated August 2011]
Description of Potential Fraud:
Lawyers in Ontario and the US have received emails from Steven Bessant, Jerry Steven or Bailey Chandler of Carrington Career & Workwear (apparently a real company) indicating that they needs a lawyer to handle a commercial collection matter.
This is similar to other commercial debt collection scams we have seen that use a real company, and even real employee names pulled from the company website, but with fake contact information.
Here is the email:
From: Steven Bessant email@example.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 11:44 AM
Subject: Law Suit
I need a commercial litigation lawyer to handle a collection matter, I
will also need a referral if this is not your line of practice. Thank
you as I look forward to your response soon.
A lawyer who responded received the following reply, which includes details of a real UK company (though the contact info is a gmail account):
From: Steven Bessant firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 3:55 PM
To: Lawyer Name
Subject: Re: Law Suit
Good day to you.Let me give you a brief of the transaction so that you can run a conflict check.
I represent Carrington Career & Workwear Ltd, United Kingdom,.My company happened to have place an order for Machinery Equipments worth $1,800,000.00 from Samco Machinery Limited 315 Nantucket Boulevard, Toronto, ON M1P 2P2, Canada and they demanded we pay 50 percent of the funds ($900,000.00USD)before delivering our products. Payment to the seller was made in August of 2010 and our calculation shows that delivery is about five Months late, for the 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 120 days.
It will be very helpful if we receive your retainer agreement for review. 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 i.e., proof of payment, sales invoice, Wire transfer document. This will enable your firm start working on this case.
Thank you so much as i look forward to hear from you.
Carrington Career & Workwear Ltd
Market Street, Adlington Nr Chorley
Lancashire, PR7 4HJ, United Kingdom.
Tel:+44 770 007 5009
Fax:+44 704 307 9169
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@example.com.
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.