Two Ontario lawyers and one in California have reported to us that they received the following message from the purported Tsugu Aijirou of Igaka-Shoin Ltd. This scam is very similar to breach of copyright or trademark scams we have seen over the last several months, though this scenario deals with a breach of a share purchase agreement. It is a setup to dupe a lawyer into wiring good funds from a trust account after depositing a fraudulent cheque received in payment of damages.
Here is a copy of the message the lawyers received:
From: Tsugu Aijirou [mailto:Tsugu.Aijirou@japan.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 9:38 AM
To: lawyer name
Subject: Legal Matter
We are a large media publisher company founded in August, 1944 here in Japan and we have a breach of share purchase agreement matter in your jurisdiction. If you are interested we can forward you the share purchase agreement for your review.
Mr. YU Kanehara, President
5-24-3, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8719
Telephone: +81 (0)3/32 63 43 18
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Sheet More 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.