Over 130 lawyers have reported to us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Nan Zhang of NPI Lease Company with regards to retaining their services to collect on a breach of a lease agreement. It is nearly identical to the Kiyoshi Yukio emails lawyers across Canada also received today.
This is another bad cheque fraud in which the ‘customer’ accused of breaching the lease agreement will no doubt also quickly send a (counterfeit) cheque for damages to the lawyers office, and the lawyer will be asked to wire the funds (minus fees and costs) to an offshore account. See our Fraud Fact Sheet for more information on how these scams work and how to spot them.
Here is an example of the initial contact email:
From: Nan Zhang [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: January 6, 2012 3:18 PM
To: lawyer name
Subject: re: lease matter
We sent this correspondence earlier. We are a consolidated subsidiary of
Shoji Equipment Leasing Company Ltd. We ask of your Services regarding a
breach of lease, that was duly guaranteed, involving us, and a customer
of ours in your province. We secured equipment requested by them and
leased it to them for an agreed period of time, but they have since
fallen short of the executed agreement we have in place.
We look forward to a response from you, so that we can provide you with
more information. We will appreciate your helping us with our request
regarding this matter.
Executive Director, Finance & Accounts
NPI Lease Company Limited
MITSUZAWA MINAMICHO 22-26-202
KANAGAWA – KU, Yokohama
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.