Employment agreement settlement scam using the name Katsuro Yuuto
Date First Reported: March 2015
Primary Name Associated: Katsuro Yuuto
Description of Potential Fraud:
An Ontario firm notified us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Katsuro Yuuto with regards to an employee injury settlement scam.
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 “employer” (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 and subsequent response:
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Rogers network.
From: KATSURO YUUTO
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 5:48 PM
Subject: Letter of Inquiry
I would like to retain your firm to help me in the process of finalizing a settlement
between myself and my previous employer (Magna).
I was injured while in active duty at my place of employment, which my company agreed to pay $750,000 USD out of settlement. This payment is to be made twice $400,000 USD and $350,000 USD, with a period of three months interval from the first payment.
I am yet to get the first payment for the past 6 months after reaching the agreement in October 2014, so based on that i have decided to make use of a legal representative to get this payment.
I will also send you the legal rep’s contact details who i communicate with on behalf of my previous.
A referral will be welcomed if this is not your area of practice. If you are interested i shall look forward to your response with all necessary information.
34-11, Takara-cho 2-chome
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 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.
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.