Between mid and late-July thirteen Ontario lawyers received a message from Larry Mason looking to retain a lawyer for a commercial litigation matter. It appears similar in nature to other debt collection scams we’ve seen under the names Richard Abramovic and David Lawson. For details of how this fraud works see LAWPRO’s Fraud Fact Sheet.
Here is the email message, loan agreement, copy of the ID that was provided, copy of a cheques that have been received by lawyers:
From: Larry Mason email@example.com
Sent: July 22, 2011 6:20 PM
Subject: New message
I am inquiring about the possibility of your firm representing me in the litigation of a loan matter.
Debtor :Jude Oma
Amount : $288,000.00
Amount Paid $58,000.00
Balance $230,000.00 CDN plus 10% annual interest.
If you or your firm can be of any assistance, please get back to me at your earliest convenience so I can send you related documents.
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.