An Ontario firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Yasuo Masumoto of Kubota Manufacturing 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:
From: Kubota Manufacturing Company Ltd
Date: Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 1:14 AM
Subject: ATTN: Counsel
Kubota Manufacturing company requires your legal representation for our delinquent accounts
customers in North America. We are seeking for legal assistance from your law firm by
representation and advise for our business interest in north America. We are currently having
a high volume of delinquent accounts in this region, having fully respected and completed our
own side of the supply obligations. We Understand there has to be a proper attorney/clients
relationship before we can work together in this regard. Upon your prompt acceptance of the
above proposal, we shall be requiring your immediate legal assistance and expertise in
recovering monies owed us by some clients/customers in North America.
Moreso, kindly outline in your reply all official requirements from your end. Call or email
me at your convenience for more discussion and details of the said delinquent accounts.Please
accept our warmest appreciation of your decision in offering your legal services as we look
forward to your prompt response and continued legal consultations.
Mr. Yasuo Masumoto
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.