Commercial debt collection scam by Peng Chen of Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corporation

September 24, 2012 By: FraudInfo Category: Fraud warning

[Updated June 2014]

Dozens of lawyers (and members of the public) in Canada and the U.S. have notified us that they have received an email from the purported Peng Chen of Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corporation with regards to a commercial 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 aimed at lawyers:

From: Verne C. Bechill [mailto:bechill@alma.edu]
Sent: September-24-12 9:35 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: Dear Counsel

Dear Counsel,

This is a request for your possible Representation in a breach of
contract matter.I’m Peng Chen, I like to know if your schedule will
permit you to handle a case of breach contract between us and a customer
in your jurisdiction.

If there are processes new clients are meant to go through before a case
is accepted please advice, or if you accept case base on referral I
would want to know also.

It is important we hear from you as soon as possible so we can decide on
what to do. If you have any questions or concern do not hesitate to
contact me.

Yours Sincerely

Chief Accountant
Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corporation.
Qingshan District of Wuhan,
Email: wuhangroup50@hotmail.co.uk
Website: http://www.wisco.com.cn/wisco_ en/

And this version of the email has been reported by many non-lawyers as well:

Attention: Prospective REP.

We are a corporation that Manufacture Iron & Steel in Qingshan District of Wuhan, China. We Require your assistance as Representative.

E-mail Datas Below;

Contact ADD…
Home Tel…..
Cell Tel…..
Alt. E-mail…


Peng Chen
Accountant Director
Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corporation.
Qingshan District of Wuhan, China

This is the response people receive:

From: davidlawsonwisco@outlook.com
Subject: RE: personal assistant
Date: Wed, 28 May 2014 21:32:07 +0000


About me: My name is David Lawson, International Relations manager and special representative (USA) at Wuhan Iron And Steel (Group) Corp.. At Wuhan Iron And Steel(Group) Corp. We integrate our strategy as a global diversified industrial company and focuses on the principles — leading with technology, Differentiating with customers and optimizing our work — that taken together are what makes us unique as a company. The WISCO Way is especially powerful because at its core are our people, who every day create enduring impact for all our stakeholders.

Your email/resume was received and reviewed by our HR dept., after close consideration, you have been shortlisted and offered a job with our company.

Our Mission:
To improve technology by delivering innovative products and services that drive quality and efficiency

Our Charitable Giving Philosophy:
At WISCO we recognize that the economic, social and physical environment in which our company operates can affect our success as an enterprise. We also recognize that our actions can have an impact on the communities in which we operate.

Therefore, we acknowledge our responsibility as a good corporate citizen to contribute some of our resources back to our communities.

By doing so, we will:
• Help the less fortunate.
• Support our mission in technology.
• Enhance our image with our communities, customers, associates and employment recruits.
• With that understanding, we identify three fundamental elements in our Charitable Contributions .

I travel a lot and get my hands occupied because I work with other companies in the states and outside, so it is imperative for me to have a worthy assistant who can monitor and keep me up to date with my activities. This position is flexible and you can be in any location, working with me is basically about instructions and following them. There is also a very sensitive issue on trust and accountability which I believe will resolve itself as time goes on.

We are looking for someone that can be trusted and reliable to work very well with good understanding. We are establishing a new office location in your area which you will be a part of the team upon completion. This position is a part time position for now and flexible and it will be full time upon putting the office in place. I’ll need your services 2-3 times weekly which should be about 10-12 hours weekly with salary of $500 per week. We will set up a formal interview as soon as i am back in the states to sign the necessary documents.

This is only an introductory e-mail, as time goes on we should be able to arrange a proper meeting to get things started officially. I do have a number of things you could help me with this week if you will be available for me. This can act as a stable foundation to our working relationship. Kindly RE-CONFIRM your contact details as shown on your resume to enable us proceed to next step.

Contact Information
First Name:
Last Name:
Address(P.O box not allowed):
Apt #:
Zip Code:
Mobile (For SMS):

Once i have received your contact information, I will get back to you with next steps and tasks. include your cell number for TEXT. Your information requested is needed for our company database as an employee and be assured your information is safe and will not be shared.

Mr. David Lawson
International Relations And Marketing Manager
Wuhan Iron And Steel(Group) Corp.

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 fraudinfo@lawpro.ca.

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 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.

Print Friendly

8 Responses to “Commercial debt collection scam by Peng Chen of Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corporation”

  1. Mitch Mehlman says:

    FYI – I was targeted by the Wuhan Iron people. I’m an attorney in FL. Do you suggest contacting the Fl bar?



  2. TimLemieux says:

    That would be good if they could warn other Florida attorneys (and not just about this scam, but all the other similar ones too).

  3. Nik says:


    I just responded to the advertisement posted by HR person from Wisco for a translator’s position yesterday. In their reply email (whyte.li@wisco.co), he claimed he is from HR office of Wuhan Iron and Steel Corp, a manufacturer of iron and steel which is located in Changqian, Wuhan City. However, when I checked the website he has given me, it directs me to Wisco Corporation Association which is a truck dealer and auto related business in US. Since the statement is sort of contradicting, it urged me to do some searches and I found your website. Now, the person in charge has contacted me via wechat and asked me to email my resume and he would like to offer a contract today. As I asked further for his office telephone number, he did not give any office tel.no. instead he asked me to drop my number so he will call me at his convenient, which sounds a bit fishy to me. I’ve checked the IP address on the email, and it indicates the IP is from US. But, I cant really tell because what if he is using VPN in China. I am now trying to contact the Wuhan office but all machine is answering in Chinese. Now, I dont know whether to proceed liasing with him or not. Now the question is, what is the possibility for a translator to be used by the scammer for any illegal job?

  4. TimLemieux says:

    Hard to say how exactly they will try to scam you, but its definitely a scam. Maybe they’ll “hire” you as a translator and then ask you to do something else that involves bad checks.

  5. klein says:

    I have similat experience with nik.
    i just responded to an online teaching job. A certain Samuel Choi from Wisco responded. He then told me to submit my resume. In just a blink he told me that he’s drafting my contract already. The following day, i received an email from a certain Whyte Li id WISCo saying im git for the job so i should submit copies of docs like diploma and passport. The offer is too goodto be true. Really. But it makes me feel something’s not right.
    I am currently in China… and as far as i know, chinese companies are fond of using a red company stamp in their business letters as a signature. The email I got had a fingerprint. Really unusual for a local company.
    i haven’t submitted any documents yet and i won’t.

  6. Sam says:

    Hello, I was offered a job as a English-Spanish job with an attractive salary for a part time position. I was asked to send my CV and employed. However, they needed a few documents which I lacked of so they referred me to barrister Sri Hidayati im Indonesia. I was asked to pay 1000USD for such documents. unfortunately, I paid but then they asked for other 980USD. I said not and still text me they want me to fly to Wujan with such documentS. I don’t know if this a scam but seems to be. What can I do? I am a foreigner living in China.

  7. Eni says:

    My situation is very similar to Sam’s. I got a job offer for the Wisco company as a Spanish translator. I had to pay to get some documents sorted but they told me I’d get a reimbrusement for all the money once I started my training. I sometimes found the whole thing too good to be true but they showed me some documents and a picture of a newspaper with the heading “Wisoc company is looking for teachers and translators” to prove their legitimacy. Once I’ve paid for all the documents required the guy who kept in touch with me via wechat told I had to pay for the software needed to work as a transaltor via online. I’m supposed to get the reimbursement today afternoon but I believe there won’t be any money by the time they told me. Is there any way I can get my money back?

  8. TimLemieux says:

    Sorry to hear that. We don’t know of any way to get the money back. Best to get in contact with your bank and the police.

Leave a Reply

  • 2015 Canadian Law Blog Awards Winner
    2014 Canadian Law Blog Finalist
    2014 Canadian Law Blog Finalist
    2014 Canadian Law Blog Finalist