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Fraudsters using LinkedIn to initiate contact on a separation agreement scam

November 08, 2013 By: FraudInfo Category: Confirmed frauds

Three Ontario lawyers have reported being contacted on LinkedIn by someone purporting to be Simon Black of law firm Allen & Overy, requesting their services in a separation agreement matter. The names of the lawyer and firm are real but are being impersonated in this scam attempt.

A firm that responded was then contacted by email and the client’s name was given as Miyoko Kazuo, a name we have posted on previously on our blog.

From this point it would progress as 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 LinkedIn contact and subsequent email reply sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

black simon
Lawyer at llen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho 38F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 6-10-1 Roppongi, Mi
Dear Counsel,

I have a divorce settlement in your jurisdiction let me know if you can help to discuses this further because of the time difference between Asia and Yours we prefer communication via email.

I awaits your reply.

Regards,

Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho
38F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tokyo
106-6138
Japan

Replying to the message brought this emailed response:

From: Simon Black [mailto:simonblack77@outlook.com]
Sent: November-08-13 2:31 AM
To:
Subject: Dear Counsel…More Details.

Dear Counsel,

My client name is Mrs Miyoko Kazuo. I need your help in regards to a divorce settlement with her ex husband Naoki Kazuo who resides in your jurisdiction. I am currently on assignment in S.Korea. We had an out of court agreement (Collaborative Law Agreement) for him to pay $648,450.00 plus legal fees. He has only paid me $148,000 since. I am hereby seeking your firm`s assistance in collecting the balance from him.

He has agreed already to pay my client the balance but it is my belief that a Law firm like yours is needed to help me collect/enforce payment from her ex-husband or litigate this matter if he fails to pay as promised.

I would love to discuses this further because of the time difference between Asia and Yours we prefer communication via email.

Regards,

Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho
38F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tokyo
106-6138
Japan

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 fraudinfo@lawpro.ca.

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.

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