Commercial equipment purchase scam using the names Robert Tan and Lam Construction
Date First Reported: October 2015
Primary Name Associated: Robert Tan
Description of Potential Fraud:
A Texas firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Robert Tan of Lam Construction looking to retain them with regards to making a large commercial purchase.
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 received by the lawyer:
On Oct 13, 2015, at 5:03 PM, Robert Tan email@example.com wrote:
I want to inquire if your firm handles Purchase Transactions and Agreements. A referral will be welcome if this is not your area of practice.
Robert Tan, Vice President
Lam Construction Company Ltd
Replying to the email brought this response:
This is a follow up email in regards to my request to you in my previous email; My company is in the process of selling one of its Dredgers. Please find below the name of the proposed buyer for your conflict check. I want to know your hourly rate for preparing a purchase agreement.
Gilbane Building Company
1331 Lamar St #1170, Houston,
TX 77010, United States
I await your prompt response.
Robert Tan, Vice President
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 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.