Commercial equipment purchase scam using the names Richard Anderson (or Nathan Brooks) and Dredges Broker
Date First Reported: September 2015
Primary Name Associated: Richard Anderson
Description of Potential Fraud:
Eight Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Richard Anderson (or Nathan Brooks or Brantz von Mayer) of Dredges Broker looking to retain them with regards to making a large commercial purchase. (There is a real company with a similar name to “Dredges Broker” that is being impersonated here. The websites www.dredgesbroker.com and www.universalmachineryandequipments.com mirror the real site, except that the contact information has been altered. The above names being used in this scam are also real people who have been impersonated.)
This appears to be a 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 purchaser (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 email sent to the lawyer after the initial contact is made:
From: alfa laval [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 5:49 PM
Subject: Re: web inquiry
Thank you for the reply. Below is the details of the sales.
In introducing myself first: I am Richard Anderson, Director of Sales under Dredges Broker and I’m representing (Alfa Laval Group) in the North America Region.
My company is about selling a dredger to a buyer located in your area. We would like to have an attorney to help us draft a purchase and sale agreement for the transaction. Attached are some of the necessary details of the dredger for your review, please advise on your rate, retainer fee and forward to me your retainer agreement to sign. The sales price of this equipment’s is Two Million Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($2,950,000.00).
You can send us your retainer fees and terms for my company to study, once we agree with the terms, we will sign them and send it back to you.
I will be looking forward to hearing from you soonest.
Find below the name of the proposed buyer for your conflict check.
320 Airport Rd RR 4,
Niagara On The Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Director of Sales
1242 Commissioners Rd W
London, Ontario N6K 1C7
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 SheetMore 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.