Real estate bad cheque deposit scam by Chung Mao
Date First Reported: July 2011
Primary Name Associated: Chung Mao
Description of Potential Fraud:
We have receieved a report that a long-running real estate scam that has often appeared under the name Shiukmoda Joji or Jyoung Chung Tu now has a new name attached: Chung Mao.
It appears to be a bad cheque deposit scam. In this type of scam the fraudster pretends interest in a property and sends a certified deposit cheque or bank draft that will be deposited in the lawyer’s trust account. Soon after, some reason will be given for backing out of the deal and the fraudster will ask for his deposit back, minus whatever legal fees and penalities the lawyer holds back. Of course, the original cheque was fraudulent, so any amount the lawyer sends to the fraudster will cause a shortfall in the trust account.
Here is a copy of the message:
From: Mao Chung firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 4:15 PM
Subject: 回复： Listing in Greater Vancouver
I will like the Mls No: XXXXXX : which is $359,000.00 because I love the curb appeal of this property, please send me the contract for me to sign and return immediately this will be my retirement home and it will be a cash buy.
1. I will want to close on 29 August, 2011
2. I want to put contingency on inspection on the contract.
My legal name is Mr.Chung Mao. A Japanese Origin and I am single, I will not be in the Canada before the closing date to wire the funds to your attorney so I will advise you to send me your attorney information so that my attorney can make immediate payment for the purchase since I won’t be in the Canada to wire funds for closing.
Please forward me a purchase contract agreement in docusign format, DocuSign format is an electronic way of signing document, forward it to me via docusign format, their website is http://www.docusign.com/ or any other electronic document I don’t have access to a printer or scanner here therefore I can not sign and send it back in PDF format I am in a remote area of Japan.
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.
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.