[Updated July 2013]
A lawyer in Rhode Island and one in Florida have notified us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Betty (or Bettie) Wang with regards to a to a collaborative family law agreement dispute. This is a fraud we have seen before under several other names and similar scenarios. 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.
After an initial contact email that the lawyer responded to, he received this reply and fake documentation.
From: Betty Wang
Date: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 1:57 PM
Subject: Fw: Post-Judgement Enforcement
I thank you for your prompt response. Currently am living in South Korea for an assignment and Bill G. Wang lives in Cranston, Rhode Island. I tried calling a couple of times and with the time difference(+13hrs EST) it is a little bit difficult to gauge the best time to reach you vice verse. Following my previous mail, we agreed under a Collaborative Law Agreement attached to this mail for a one time cash settlement of US$698,000.00. To his credit, he has paid me US$260,500.00 but still owing US$437,500.00. He is aware of my intention to seek legal actions. I will be pleased to provide further information on this matter on request. I have already informed him I am planning on retaining a law firm for this purpose. If possible please send me a retainer agreement for my review so that we can proceed. Thank you and have a pleasant day.
ADDRESS: RM 705, Hannam BLDG 737-37, Hannam-Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, Korea.
The fraudster then signed the lawyers retainer agreement (though no retainer fee was forthcoming). The lawyer was later notified in the email below that a partial payment from the “ex-husband” was on its way, from which he could deduct his retainer. A counterfeit cheque then arrived at the firm.
I am sorry for the delayed response. My son “shin-ho” is seriously ill and I hope you do understand how distressing it is to hove a sick child. However, I received an email from Bill, thot he hos sent your firm a partial payment to avoid any legal litigation, for part of the amount thot he owe me.
I am pleased to hear this decent notification. In the light of this, and because I hove not sent you the retainer amount,again, I ask thot you deduct your retainer and any cost accumulated so far. The balances from the amount received should be kept in your client trust account for further instructions.
He intends to pay of the owed balance in three weeks. As soon as you have deducted your retainer fee, please notify me also. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with your firm and appreciate your counsel and hope we will be able to collect the remainder of the funds owed to me.
I hereby await your acknowledgment of this email.
ADDRESS: RM 705, Hannam BLDG 737-37, Hannam- Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, Korea.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.