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Date First Reported: November 2013

Primary Name Associated: He Weijian

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Six Ontario lawyers notified us that they received an email from the purported He Weijian looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring real funds from their trust accounts after depositing a fake cheque received as payment from the debtor (who is part of the fraud). See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and to see other names associated with it. Our Fraud Fact Sheet lists the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.

Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer, and subsequent response:

From: He Weijian
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 5:57 PM
Subject: Legal Services Request

Attention Sir/Madam,
We request your firms assistance in an immediate delayed payment resolution matter. Kindly advise your firms availability in this regard.
Thank you….
He Weijian
[email protected]

Replying to the email brought this response:

On behalf of Zhongshan Vantage Gas Appliance Stock Co Ltd we would like to thank you for your willingness to render services as requested.
To enable you perform conflict check, do find below as you have requested one of our client information.

Dakon Construction Ltd
Frobisher Dr, Waterloo, ON N2V 2G4

On the 15th of December 2011, the purchase and delivery of industrial equipment and tools, was made by the above named client, to the tune of $663,649.50, of which a down payment of $ 150,000 was made, with an agreement to spread the remaining balance of $513,649.50, within six [6] month from the date of the first down payment of $ 150,000 already made. This balance payment is now long overdue as our regular sales agreement was for the balance to be spread within six month from the day of delivery of good to them of which it was agreed and that the balance payment must be made payable not exceeding June 2012, or
legal actions may be enforced. According to our agreement this client is over 5 months late on payment as delivery was received and confirmed in good condition since 15th of December 2011.

We have been in discussion with the client, and still in discussion, but and it is not yielding any result. It is our belief that once the presence of Our Company, is established in your country by a legal representative, your firm, if retained, our client will have no option than to comply with settlement request to avoid legal actions. We believe that a normal procedure would be for you to contact our client either by a phone call or demand letter if your services is retained. Due to the fact that we hold most of our client in high esteem and wish to keep our business relationship with them, litigation is perhaps the last option to consider, though we would like the comfort of knowing that the option is available and letting our client know that litigation may be enforced if it becomes necessary.

We have decided to bring to the notice of the board, that we have already initiated legal step, and in this regards, would find it very helpful if we could receive your standard retainer agreement for review. This will enable me present your retainer agreement to the board for review, and the possibility of retaining your firms services in order for us to proceed further.The board would like to have it reviewed before your services is retained.
We would be pleased to be in receipt of your retainer agreement documents for our review.

We are grateful for your anticipated services. Do acknowledge receipt as we look forward to a prompt reply from you.
Faithfully,
He Weijian
Pres:Brand Strategy Center
Zhongshan Vantage Gas Appliance Stock Co Ltd
Zhongshan, Guangdong, 528416
China

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 protected]

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.