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Date First Reported: August 2015

Primary Name Associated: Saito Shimizu

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Three U.S. firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Saito Shimizu of Eikoh/KIC Trading 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 initial contact email sent to the lawyer:

From: Saito Shimizu [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2015 5:26 AM
To: Me
Subject: Inquiry

Dear Counsel,

Does your law firm perform business transactions with relation to contract
drafting and review? Please advise.

Regards,
Saito Shimizu

Replying to the email brought this response:

I appreciate your response to my inquiry. I am almost done negotiating sale of a dredger to a buyer residing in your area, currently I am in need of an attorney to help me draft a purchase and sale agreement for the transaction, the buyer has conducted primary inspection and he is satisfied. I would attach in my next mail the needed documentation details of my Dredger for your review. Please I will need your advise on your rate, retainer fee and forward to me your retainer agreement to sign. Below is the name of the proposed buyer for your conflict check.

Proposed Buyer:
Camenzind Dredging Inc
792 Montrose Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94303

Regards
Saito Shimizu
EIKOH/KIC TRADING INC.
YOKOHAMA EAST 21,
Shinmachi 5-12, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama 221-0043, Japan
http://www.etinc.co.jp/en/

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.

If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you.

For more immediate updates on fraud and claims prevention, subscribe to the email or RSS feed updates from LAWPRO’s AvoidAClaim blog.

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.