Commercial equipment purchase scam using the names William Tore and Fidelity Equipment Ltd
Date First Reported: November 2015
Primary Name Associated: William Tore
Description of Potential Fraud:
An Ontario firm notified us that they received an email from the purported William Tore and Fidelity Equipment Ltd 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:
Subject: Real Estate
Name: Tore Williams
Message: Please Respond if have a experience in drafting bill of sales and purchase agreement. Tore Williams
Replying to the email brought this response:
We are in the process of selling one of our company’s asset (A crane )and will like you to handle the sales agreement with a bill of sale inclusive. Our buyer is located in your area. you will find buyers details below for a conflict check.
United Rentals, Inc
463 Taunton Road East
Oshawa, ON L1H 7K5
Attached you will find necessary details of the equipment for you to digest. If you can handle this please advise on your fee and also send over a fee agreement for review . I will like to discuss this matter further with you over the phone of course, but that’s after i must have reviewed your fee agreement and terms of representation. So please let me know available dates so i can make fit you into my schedule.
Fidelity Equipment Ltd
Box 7239, S-303 91
Tel:+46 8 559 24 654
Fax;+46 3 174 59 445
<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 are an Ontario lawyer who suspects 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.
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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.