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Date First Reported: July 2011

Primary Name Associated: Jyoung Chung Tu

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

In March 2011 we alerted lawyers to a widespread real estate deposit scam by Shiukmoda Joji. In the comments to that post many other lawyers and real estate agents told us they had received very similar emails from a Jyoung Chung Tu. In recent weeks that name has been reported to us with increasing frequency.

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 are some samples of the emails being received by lawyers and real estate agents, as well as samples of some of the supporting documentation sent by the fraudsters.

From: Jyoung Chung tu [email protected]
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 01:07:13 -0700 (PDT)
To: lawyer name
Subject: MLS# F1100168 $295,000

Hello,
I will like the MLS# F1100168 which is $295,000 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 21st june, 2011

2. I want to put contingency on inspection on the contract.

My legal name is Mr. Jyoung Chung Tu. 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.

Regards
Mr. Jyoung Chung Tu

A lawyer that responded got this reply. Note the different email address used.

From: Jyoung Chung tu [email protected]
Sent: May 15, 2011 3:00 PM
To: lawyer name
Subject:

Hello,
Thank you very much for your response. Like i have said earlier, i do not have access to a
printer and a scanner, due to the disaster that happened in Japan. Please send me the
purchase contract agreement documents via docusign format, this is the only way that i can
sign the purchase contract agreement documents, I believe you understand me.
At this point in time, I will only be able to provide you with my proof of funds. Like i
told you, this is a cash buy, As soon as i receive and sign the purchase contract agreement
document, My associate in canada will be issuing a cashier’s check to an attorney which you
will provide for me, the cashier’s check will be the total sum for the house, your
commission and the attorney fee.
I believe you understand me.
I beg of you please.
I expect you to write the purchase contract agreement documents and send to me via docusign.

My Regards,
Jyoung

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.

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.