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Date First Reported: March 2014

Primary Name Associated: Andy Newham

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

An Ohio firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Andy Newham of Hydravalve 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.

Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer and subsequent response:

Date: 2014-03-03 23:51
From: Andy Newham
To:
Reply-To:

kindly contact if you have a successful history with civil litigation
cases.In urgent need
Thanks
Andy Newham

Replying to the email brought this response:


We have a breach of contract issue, unfortunately, am leaving the office
now and won’t be around for another week. My trip is business related so
I will be quite busy when am gone. looking at the time difference on
both sides I suggest I write you an email with a general synopsis of the
case, we can then discuss this issue better over the phone when I get
back next week.
Let me know your thoughts.
Regards,
Andy Newham
Managing Director
Hydravalve (UK) Ltd
Unit 4 Noose Lane Willenhall
West Midlands WV13 3BX
United Kingdom
Direct:+44 190 5570268

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. Instructions on how to report a claim are here.

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.