Two firms, one in Illinois and one in Florida, appear to have been targeted by a real estate deposit bad cheque scam by the purported Kenneth Hang. Hang claims to be working on an offshore oil rig in China.
In this type of scam the fraudster pretends interest in a property (often contacting a realtor first)and sends a certified cheque or bank draft as a deposit or full payment that will be deposited in the lawyer’s trust account. Soon after, some reason will be given for backing out of the deal and the fraudster will ask for the deposit or payment back, minus whatever legal fees and penalties the lawyer holds back. Of course, the original cheque was fraudulent, so any amount the lawyer sends to the fraudster will cause a shortfall in the trust account. See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and other names associated with it , and our Fraud Fact Sheet for a list the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.
One of the firms received a countefeit cheque for $199,980 from a John Adams of Investors Group (T: 289-500-5068. F:941-870-1562) whose email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Copies of the cheque and cover letter are below.
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.
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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.