Firms in Arizona and California notified us that they received an email from the purported David Norman of Moog Components Group 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 email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
From: John Moorcroft firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Monday, June 02, 2014 3:15 AM
Subject: Legal Assistance
I want to inquire if your firm handles breach of contract cases. A
referral will be welcomed if this is not your area of practice.
Replying to the email brought this response:
Thanks for your response, I want to indulge your firm to represent us with regards to a contract case. Find below our debtors information for a conflict check, before we can schedule for a telephone conference.
5868 E Berneil Lane Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
We hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience.
Adey Steel Ltd
Falcon Industrial Park
Meadow Lane Loughborough
Leicestershire LE11 1HL
T: +44 793 701 4296
F: +44 809 174 0930
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. 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.