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Date First Reported: June 2014

Primary Name Associated: Donna Wellington

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Four lawyers in Canada and the U.S. notified us that they received an email from the purported Donna Wellington of RDO Equipment 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 email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: RDO Equipment [email protected]
Subject: attorney assistance
To:
Dear Sir/Madam,

Our firm needs your assistance for a debt collection in your local area. Please get back to me, if you are available and we will forward further details to enable you do your conflict check.

Thanks.

Donna Wellington
Executive Vice President
RDO Equipment Co.
[email protected]
www.rdoequipment.com
513-274-8448
5051 S. Outlet Center Dr
Tucson, AZ 85706

Replying to the email brought this response:

Thanks for your prompt response. Please be informed that the debt in question is as a result of an outstanding payment of $525,420.00USD, for equipment confirmed delivered in good condition to our customer (Green Diamond Equipment, 141 Heller Road, Woodstock, NB E7M 1X4). The due date for payment as agreed based on our signed agreement & issued invoice was 1st of November, 2013. Please do carry out a conflict check on my debtor and let me know if you can assist us with collections.

Finally and most importantly, be informed that we intend to work on a contingency basis and we would like to draw your attention to the relationship with our customer. We have been cordial with them, that have allowed us to have a successful business relationship over the past few years, and we would like to maintain this relationship after collection of the outstanding sum owed to us.

Upon clearing your conflicts check, I will forward to you a copy of the agreement and invoice to assist with collections. I look forward to a timely response from you.

Sincerely,

Donna Wellington
Executive Vice President
RDO Equipment Co.
[email protected]
www.rdoequipment.com
TEL 513-274-8448
5051 S. Outlet Center Dr
Tucson, AZ 85706

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.