Real estate bad cheque fraud by Kin Hang Cheung
Date First Reported: June 2012
Primary Name Associated: Kin Hang Cheung
Description of Potential Fraud:
An Ontario lawyer notified us (and since then we’ve heard from many more lawyers across Canada) that they were targeted by a real estate bad cheque scam by the purported Kin Hang Cheung. A (probably unsuspecting) real estate agent sent his office the Agreement of Purchase of Sale, copy of ID, bank statement and cheque (below). The lawyer suspected fraud and got in touch with LAWPRO.
The “buyer” claims to be out of the country and is paying through his stock broker, as per the email below. For more information on how this fraud works and other names attached to it, see the Confirmed Fraud page.
The Law Society of BC has also sent out a warning to its members.
The fraud starts with an email to a real estate agent, like the following:
From : kin hang cheung
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Message : I am interested in buying this property so please send me more information asap to enable me know exactly how to go about it.
I’d like more information about MLS® XXXXXX.
I am interested in buying a property.
When pressed for more details by the lawyer, he claims to be out of the country:
As I have said before, the home will be a cash buy and I and my wife will fly to Canada for viewing the property but before that I would like my stock broker in America to send the money to your firm via a lawyer/solicitor.
I want to make the funds available in Canada before coming to view the property, please I would want you to retain a lawyer for me so that my stock broker can send the funds directly to him to keep in a trust account until I arrive in Canada with my wife.
Please let me know the lawyer retaining fees and charges so that my stock broker can include all in the payment he would be sending to the lawyer.
Kindly get back to me with a candid response as I plan to be in USA soon.
We have since heard of other cheques from such sources as Downtown Porsche, Reach Technologies, Bioniche Life Sciences (below), and Primerica (below):
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 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.