Two Ontario lawyers have notified us that they have received an email from the purported Michael Stakenberg of Sahaviriya Steel Industries 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: Michael Stakenberg [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 10:59 AM
To: lawyer name
Subject: RE: Michael Stakenberg – collection matter
I reprensent Sahaviriya Steel Industries. We would like to retain your firm’s services to collect debt owed to us by the company below.The debt owed is $1,200,000.00USD. We placed order for machineries that was not delivered to us. If this within your firm’s capacity, then get back to me with your retainer agreement for review
We are seeking to collect against the company below for breach of contract
Superex Canada Ltd
601 Gordon Baker Rd,
North York, ON M2H 3B8
We awaits your prompt response
Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI UK)
Steel House Redcar
Cleveland TS10 5QW
Tel: +44 702 403 0506
Fax: 086 776 8317
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.