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Date First Reported: November 2011

Primary Name Associated: Sharon Roddick

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Three Ontario lawyers have notified us that they’ve received emails from the purported Sharon Roddick with regards to a divorce settlement scam. The scenario outlined in the emails (involving HIV and the Japanese earthquake) is identical to an earlier fraud attempt using the name Melissa Cho Anderson. For details on how this type of fraud works and other names attached to it, see our Confirmed Fraud page.

Here is an example of the email.

From: Sharon Roddick
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2011 12:12:47 +0200
To:
Subject: Damages

Attn: Attorney,

I would like to make a request for assistance of your law office in the matter that had been settled out of court, as I am presently away from Canada.

Essentially, I would like to mention that I am HIV+ patient as a result of an unfaithfulness on the part of my ex husband, Mr. Joseph Howard. Recalling my former relationship with Mr. Joseph Howard, I could confirm to you that I was pregnant to him in June 2009. Unfortunately, Mr Howard did not disclose his HIV+ status to me. It was during my antenatal check up that it was revealed I had already been infected with sexually transmitted disease (STD). But considering my pregnancy status at the time, the treatment for the STD could not also be concluded as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, subsequent appointments of my antenatal check up indicated a complicated situation and it was further showed that the pregnancy has been affected. As a result, different tests {among which are the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) & Western Blot Test} were conducted on me with all tests confirmed that I am HIV+.

Regrettably, it was at this stage that Mr. Joseph Howard apologized to my family for infecting me with the virus disease, which he was aware of as far back as 2004. The sad news was that my pregnancy was later aborted as it was confirmed that the unborn baby has also been infected with the virus.

However, considering the stigma of the disease and the position of my ex husband, this is why he pleaded with me that we should ruled out litigation at any court. As such, my former husband has agreed with me an amicable settlement of the $320,000 in total damages.

The latest development is that my ex husband has just informed me that he has made adequate arrangement with his bank to make first payment to the value of $140,000 out of the agreed $320,000 in damages that he had awarded to me.

Needless to say that i am still traumatized of an experience too strong in effect to be forgotten, similar to an offender on death row awaiting execution, which is why my family then recommend that I need to change environment. The result then explains my recent journey to Tokyo, Japan in February this year shortly before the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, which occurred near the East coast of Honshu.

In a nutshell, I would be glad if you could kindly notify me of your interest to collect the first payment to the value of $140,000 on my behalf out of the agreed $320,000 in damages awarded to me. I would also be interested to know your professional fee towards the requested service.

Your kind response will be gladly appreciated.

Yours truly,

Ms. Sharon Roddick

Tokyo, Japan.

Phone: +81-03-3342-358

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.

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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.