Copyright infringement scam by Eizo Kobayashi of Itochu Corporation
Date First Reported: November 2014
Primary Name Associated: Eizo Kobayashi
Description of Potential Fraud:
Two Ontario firms reported to us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Eizo Kobayashi of Itochu Corporation with regards to a copyright infringement matter.
We do not yet have sufficient details to report on the nature of the scheme, but the initial correspondence (see below) has some characteristics consistent with fraud.
Frauds of this nature often present as a 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 party in breach (who is also 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.
Itochu Corporation appears to be a real company whose name is being used in this fraud.
Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
Itochu Corporation 5-1,
Tokyo 107-8077, Japan.
Good Day Counsel,
Does your law office handle copyright infringement cases?
If your law firm is disposed at this time to handle such,do respond immediately.However if not kindly make a referral.
I await your prompt response.
Mr. Eizo Kobayashi.
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.
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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.