Over 60 Ontario lawyers have notified us that they’ve received an email from a “Mr Marsden” (or sometimes Mr. Goling) of Alfa Construction Ltd asking to retain their services. The address given looks to be a residential address in North York, ON, though a Google search of the company name finds a similar company entry in Nepean, ON and California. There may or may not be a real company with that name. It would appear to be a setup for a debt litigation scam. For examples of other names attached to this kind of fraud see our Confirmed Fraud Page. For an explanation of how this fraud works see our Fraud Fact Sheet.
Here is the initial email:
From: Mr. Marsden [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: April 30, 2012 9:30 AM
To: lawyer name
Subject: RE: Alfa Construction Ltd
Alfa Construction Ltd
53 Rowntree Mill Rd
North York, ON M9L 1C4, Canada
Good day to you, I trust your week is going well.
I am writing on behalf of Alfa Construction Ltd requesting legal representation from your firm.
We have a client located in your city and are in need of legal advice as our legal representative cannot represent us because this matter is out of their area of expertise and has urged us to seek represntation regarding this matter.
Your firms profile was reviewed by our company and we believe that this case is well within your jurisdiction which is why we write asking for your firms services.
Please know that we are willing to provide you with a more detailed explanation/information once we know your position in representing Alfa Construction Ltd.
We would appreciate it if you could give us a responses if your firm is willing to represent Alfa Construction Ltd.
A lawyer who replied to “Mr Goling” got this response:
How was the weekend? I trust it was pleasant.
Thank you for your prompt response.We appreciate your willingness to render services as we have requested.
To make sure that there is no conflict of interest, our clients information is provided below with hopes that you can representing us:
MCINTYRE, D A CONSTRUCTION LTD
17205 106A AVE NW SUITE 203
Edmonton, Alberta T5S 1M7
MCINTYRE, D A CONSTRUCTION LTD owes a total of $127,853.92 for the initial lease and eventual sale of Construction equipment and delivery service. This payment is overdue as our regular sale agreement was for total payment to be made not later than eight weeks upon delivery or legal action may be enforced if payment delay exceeds 6 months.An initial payment of 10 % was made in Oct of 2011 before the equipment was delivered.
According to the terms of the agreement, this client is over 5 months late on payment as delivery was received and confirmed in good condition on 13th Nov 2011.
Since then we have made several contacts to our client requesting payment only to be informed that our payment request has been approved by their company but still awaits remittance by their accounting department.
We have been doing business with our client for a few years now and we wouldn’t want this to be the end of our fine business relationship which we have built over the past years; however our concern is that they may not meet payment deadline as we also need the monies for other business activities.
We do not want this matter to get to litigation unless necessary because it is time consuming, expensive and damaging to business relationship. We believe that once our presence is established via a legal representative, our clients won t have any choice but to comply with payment demands to avoid legal action.
I will be updating other associates at my company on this matter and ask that you send to me a copy of your firms standard retainer agreement for our review. We are willing to provide all necessary documentation and information with regards to the issue at hand once we have agreed on terms of your representation i.e. a retainer letter from your firm.
I would appreciate receipt of this document on or before June 11th,
2012 so that i may discuss your retention with other associates in a meeting scheduled next week.
Thank you very much and I await receipt of your standard retainer agreement.
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.
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.