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Date First Reported: November 2013

Primary Name Associated: Konatsu Ayumu

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Two Ontario lawyers notified us that they received an email from the purported Konatsu Ayumu looking to retain them with regards to a collecting overdue payments resulting from a separation agreement.

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 email and subsequent reply sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: “Konatsu Ayumu”
Sent 11/20/2013 4:53:36 PM
To:
Subject: **SPAM** *Dear Counsel

Dear Counsel,

I want to know if your firm handles cases regarding contempt of judgement resulting from dissolution of marriage.

Regards,

Konatsu Ayumu

Replying to the email brought this response:

Thank you for your prompt response. Currently in Taiwan for an assignment and Yuuki Ayumu (ex spouse) who lives in your jurisdiction. Due to the time difference (+13hrs EST) it is a little bit difficult to determine the best time to call you.

We agreed under a Collaborative Law Agreement for a one-time cash settlement of $850,500.00USD to his credit, he has paid me $200,000.00USD but still owing $650.500.00USD.

Hence, I need your counsel in order to collect the balance owed to me under the settlement agreement. 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 advised him I am planning on retaining your firm.

Kindly send me your firm’s retainer fee agreement so that we can proceed. Thank you and have a pleasant day.

Regards,

Konatsu Ayumu

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.