An Ontario lawyer has been contacted by two realtors who got the same emails from the purported Pully Chau with regards to what looks like a real estate bad cheque scam. For details of how this scam works see our Confirmed Fraud page.
The fraudster makes an initial contact to a realtor claiming they are overseas and looking for a local property. When shown some properties the realtor gets this reply:
Well, I have just gone through the above properties and I am willing to go ahead with the purchase. I have however just gotten off a rather long telephone conversation with my ex-husband as it is his idea to buy me a property because he wants to have his sons close to him. His actual budget for the purchase is $370,000.00. but I had requested that he allow me search for the property myself, so I could get a cheaper property of say $200,000.00 – $270,000.00 so I can be able to pay back the loan I took for a major operation my mother went through last year with what’s left, as it is my wish to clear things up here before relocating with my kids by the second week of February I thought I let you know this as I believe if I am more open with you, you should be able to help me better.
I am indeed happy with the above property, and I have gone ahead to discussed with my ex and he will make the funds($370,000.00) available as soon I can provide him with a banking account information for a cheque to be drawn to defray the cost.
I was earlier pre-informed I will need to make a legal contract with an estate lawyer and have all funds held in his or her trust account since it is going to be a cash buy, to this light I will need your help in getting a lawyer whom you have worked with in the past that can provide this service to help as I do not have one in the Canada and wouldn’t want to ask my ex-husband for his, because that will jeopardize my entire plan. Please do have the lawyer whom you are referring contact me with all necessary requirement for his service and let me have his contact details too, and please also do well to enlighten him about my intention, as I believe it is best he knows.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and professionalism
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.