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Date First Reported: January 2015

Primary Name Associated: Dale Farley

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Two Ontario lawyers notified us that they received an email from the purported Dale Farley looking to retain them with regards to a breach of a business loan agreement.

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 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.

Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer’s intake site, and subsequent reply:

From: Dale Farley [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: January-05-15 11:25 AM
To:
Subject: Debt Issue

Hi,

I need your services to recover a debt owed me by one Jeffery Harris in Saint-Cyrille-de-Wendover, QC.

Jeff, is a friend and long time business associate. I offered to assist him with a loan of $152,800.00 on August 18th, 2014 to help pay off an overdue invoice he has been owing some suppliers so he could avoid penalties attached to the agreement he holds with them. He agreed to repay the loan on September 20th, 2014 without interest as agreed on the Loan Agreement signed by both of us without witnesses. He did not fulfill the agreement to repay on September 20th, 2014 and ask me for some more time as he is short of cash at the moment which I agreed, he again signed a Promissory Note on January 2nd, 2015 promising to pay on the same day but I am still waiting to get a cheque from him.

I do not want to wait any longer as he seem to be taking me for granted. I want to get back my money even if I have to force it out of him.

Let me know what your fees will be and what steps will be taken to retrieve my money from him. I need this money as soon as possible as I also need to disburse funds to my international clients promptly.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Dale A Farley
2950 St Jean Baptiste St
Pontbriand, QC, G0N 1K0
[email protected]
418-800-7863

Replying to the email (to point out the matter was in Quebec and should be dealt with there) brought this response:

Mr Harris recently moved to 1312 Reserve St Calabogie, ON K0J 1H0 hence why I am contacting your office. He is still responding to emails and phone calls. I simply need your enlightened office to contact him or possibly send him a demand letter and see how he responds. I need him to know I have contacted an attorney and he needs to act fast.
Dale Farley
418-800-7863
[email protected]

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.

What can you do to help put a stop to the fraud attempt? You can simply stop replying to the fraudster’s emails or inform them that you suspect fraud and will not act on the matter (or will take no further actions on the matter). You can report the fraudsters email addresses to the email hosting company. If you have a fraudulent cheque you can destroy it or send it to the fraud department of the financial institution, which may wish to see it. In Canada, you can report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

We are often asked if it is worthwhile to report the fraud attempt to the police in the hopes of helping catch the fraudsters. You can certainly report the fraud to your local or federal law enforcement agencies, but unfortunately it is often difficult, expensive and time consuming for them to attempt to shut down these online fraud perpetrators (though there are some successes).

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.