Commercial debt collection scam using the names Xu Gang and Henan Billions Chemical Co. Ltd
Date First Reported: July 2013
Primary Name Associated: Xu Gang
Description of Potential Fraud:
[Updated November 2013]
Eighty lawyers in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada have notified us that they received an email from the purported Xu Gang of Henan Billions Chemical Co. Ltd 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.
Henan Billions Chemical Co. Ltd appears to be a real company whose name is being used in this fraud and the fraudsters are impersonating Xu Gang.
Here is the initial contact email and subsequent response sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
From: Henan Billions Chemical CO. Ltd
Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2013 2:30 PM
Subject: Dear Counsel,
We need a litigation lawyer who can handle a collection case. Please let me know if you can be of assistance to me or If not a referral could be helpful. CONTACT Mr. Xu Gang Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Xu Gang.
Replying to the email brought this response:
Thank you for your swift response to my mail.
The Company has several deals sealed with us over the years past without any issues. They have Affilate in different companies as well as a parent company. So,we need a good lawyer to handle this matter urgently. If you do not your referral to another attorney will be appreciated. Like I stated in my previous email this is a collection case. This Company owes us to the tune of $633,590.00 (Six Hundred and Thirty-Three, Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety dollars). I will forward you all the purchase order and invoice concerning this transaction as soon as you agree to retain us. I am in constant contact with them and even though they have promised to pay, I think the threat or possibility of litigation would serve as a catalyst to make them pay sooner rather than later.
We are prepared to pay your retainer fee for this service as soon as I get an engagement letter from your firm. I expect this to be a non-litigation collection from the Debtor, but I am prepared to litigate this matter if they are not ready to pay the balance owed.
Send me the engagement letter so that we can proceed with this issue with him. I want to also let you know that as an owner of a business, this debt has caused considerable strain on our operations.Time is of the essence for me now.
Sir, let me know how much your retainer will be for I am ready to retain your firm to help me with this very issues of mine.
Please send me your retainer agreement or engagement letter at your earliest convenience.
I am open to either an hourly or contingency fee basis. Please advice which works better for you.
Mr. Xu Gang
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.