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Real estate bad deposit cheque scam by Shiukmoda Joji [Updated October 2011]

March 08, 2011 By: TimLemieux Category: Confirmed frauds, Fraud prevention

Late in February a real estate lawyer reported to LAWPRO an attempted fraud that came to him through a real estate agent he frequently works with involving an individual purporting to be Shiukmoda Joji. Almost 60 other lawyers and real estate agents from all over North America have since reported to us that they were contacted by the purported Joji. It appears very large numbers of lawyers and real estate agents are being targeted by this fraud. Clearly real estate agents are being approached to give credibility to the deal when it is referred to a lawyer.

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.

The text of the initial contact emails are as follows:


I am MR.SHIUKMODA JOJI. a Japanese origin I need a 4 to 5 bed room single family home to buy and it as to be a traditional sale and its going to be a cash buy, with a garage and 2 bath with or without swimming pool price should be $550,000 to $800,000.00 please send me some listing/MLS to choose in any of this area good and nice to stay as my retirement home.

I am currently in a remote area in Japan for further information Note: my Canadian attorney will contact after choosing from your listing .

MR.SHIUKMODA JOJI

The real estate agent then forwarded some property listings and received this reply:
From: Shiukmoda Joji
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2011 23:36:08 +0800 (HKT)
To:
Subject: NEEDED DETAILS

Hello
I will like to $649,900, MLS#: XXXXXXXX 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 28th March, 2011
2. I want to put down $50,000.00 Earnest money
3. I want to put contingency on inspection on the contract.

My legal name is MR.SHIUKMODA JOJI of 1865 Sheppard Avenue West ON M3L 1Y5, Canada and I am single, I will not be in Canada before the closing date to wire the funds to an attorney so I will advise you to send
me your attorney information for a check to be drawn to give enough time for check clearance since I won’t be in 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 presently in Japan.

My Canadian rep Martins Mark Esq will Issue payment in US Funds for the earnest money for the property payable to your attorney, the check will be deliver to your attorney and please take the cheque and cash it at your bank because i can’t send payment from here.

I strongly advice that I need an attorney in your state to represent my interest in this transaction, so therefore I would like to deposit all payment with the lawyer.

Please I need the following information from you the attorney information for immediately payment

Law Firm Name……………………………………………
Law Firm Address……………………………………………….
Law Firm Telephone………………………………………………
Lawyer’s Name…………………………………………………..

Regards
MR.SHIUKMODA JOJI

In some versions of the above message Joji claims to live at 4644 Jane Street, Toronto Ontario Canada M3N 2K9.

Here is the explanation given to one lawyer as to why the fraudster couldn’t wire funds and a CIBC bank account statement indicating funds were available in an account here.


From: Shiukmoda Joji [mailto:jojishiukmoda@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 4:26 PM
To: XXXX XXXXX
Subject: RE: MLS#: O4973236

Hello,

This is simple, because of my remote location in japan, i can not make a wire transfer hence i prefer to issue a cashier’s check to an attorney.

I have also attached my proof of funds.

I expect you to send me an attorney’s full information as soon as possible so i can instruct my associate to issue the check.

I believe you understand me.

Mr. Joji.

CIBC statement from Shiukmoda Joji


Further to back and forth email messages to another lawyer, this message cites the recent earthquake as the reason that funds can’t be wired:


Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2011 10:00 PM
To:
Subject: PAYMENT FOR MLS # 240757,$558,000
Thanks,

I have received your contract and have also signed it and return it back to you. Hope you received it. I will like to make the payment for the EMD and also for the full payment of $558,000 via cheque.

I will not be able to make a wire transfer from my country Japan due to the Earthquake. I will instruct my attorney in canada to post a cashier cheque to your company attorney in trust.

Please I need your company attorney information for immediately payment post to him

Law Firm Name……………………………………………
Law Firm Address……………………………………………….
Law Firm Telephone………………………………………………
Lawyer’s Name…………………………………………………..
Lawyer”s Email……………………………………………………

Regards

MR.SHIUKMODA JOJI

In October, an Ontario lawyer targeted by this scam sent us a copy of a fake passport provided by the fraudster.

If you have been targeted by this fraud, please forward any of the emails you have received to fraudinfo@lawpro.ca.

If you are a LAWPRO insured, please call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899) if you suspect you are acting on a matter that appears like it might be a fraud. 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. In the event the matter you are acting is 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. Instructions on how to report a claim are here.

Further fraud prevention information and resources are available on the practicePRO Fraud page (www.practicepro.ca/fraud), 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.

For more immediate updates on fraud and claims prevention, subscribe to the email or RSS feed updates from LAWPRO’s AvoidAClaim blog.

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52 Responses to “Real estate bad deposit cheque scam by Shiukmoda Joji [Updated October 2011]”


  1. Vanessa says:

    Hi- I’ve just been targeted. Woke up to essentially the same format letter. I was always suspicious because of a minor detail. He said he was of Japanese origin but the name he gave was clearly Chinese. Being Asian, this d idn’t gel with me so I googled possible scams and found this site. I love my real estate attorney so I wanted to research this out before I wasted my time and his.

    Fyi, the scammer’s new name is Mr. Yu Chan of Malaysia. Beware!

  2. Siew Cheng says:

    It appears that he is moving on to targeting Business Brokers. We have received an email from Mr. Dave Jamie last week interested in purchasing a liquor store we have listed for sale. Dave has an African/Jamaican accent and claimed that he needed to buy a business in Canada. When asked why he wants to buy a business in Canada or how he plan to manage the business etc, he never directly answer the questions but simply said that he is a business man doing a lot of business in China buying and selling household items and knows what he needs to do to make money. He would not give the name of his company nor companies that he does business with. He has no questions about the business he wants to buy and intends to pay full price for it which immediately raise a red flag. His primary interest is to send us a cheque of 200k to “secure” the business and to fill whatever forms/contracts we need him to fill out. We told him that in order to accept his cheque, we will need to have an offer in place and when we send him a list of questions needed to prepare an offer, he does not appear to understand half of them but he keep insisting on wanting to send us a cheque to buy the business. He used the Japanese credential with a fellow business broker in Vancouver, which is how we linked him to this post. The following contact information appears to be the new credential for 2013.

    Name of Sender: dave jamie

    Email of Sender: davejamie2013@hotmail.com

    Telephone: 3478718829

    Address: 3030 Verde Street, Bakersfield, CA, United States



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