A lawyer in Washington State received an email from the purported Ray Aubrey of Electronic Resources Inc 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:
From: Ray Aubrey [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 12:42 PM
To: lawyer email
Subject: Debt Collection
We are Electronic Resources Inc in Honolulu, Hawaii a private company categorized under Wholesale Electronic Equipment and Supplies. We are established in 1989 and incorporated in Hawaii. We have a collection matter in your area.
Please advice is you are taking on new case at this moment its very urgent.
Ray Aubrey (President)
Electronic Resources, Inc.
534 Ohohia Street # A
Honolulu, HI 96819-1989
When the lawyer replied he got this response:
Thanks for the your responds, our debtor information is below the debt owe $1,200,000.00, We like to know if you have conflict that will prevent you from representing us against Allied Electronics, Inc. We have explored all avenues to resolve this issue amicably, unfortunately we have not progressed as expected.
Allied Electronics, Inc.
19625 61st Avenue S # C105
Kent, WA 98032
Please advise us on your retainer fees for collection and send us retainer agreement ( engagement letter) looking forward hearing from you.
Ray Aubrey (President)
Finally, with no action taken on the lawyer’s part, the “debtor” miraculously decided to pay up:
I am delighted to inform you that I received a message from our customer they have issued a pay of $650,000.00 to your firm as a part of the money owed us to avoid litigation brought against them and to pay the balance $550,000.00 by August, 2012
The customer has made the payment in bank draft/certified cheque as I was informed that the funds would be made available upon deposit.
However, you will have your retainer fee deducted from this sum we will sign an authorization for you to deduct your retainer fee from the payment, please send us the agreement to sign the authorization and this will give us a good note to start off as agreed by my board of directors.
Please we should pause any action at this time and we shall see if they did really issue the payment as they have promised.
Kindly advice us once you have receive and deposit the payment in your account.
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.
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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.