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Date First Reported: October 2015

Primary Name Associated: Nana Hikaru

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Two Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Nana Hikaru looking to retain them with regards to a collecting overdue payments resulting from a separation agreement.

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 debtor (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 after in initial LinkedIn contact:

Thanks for your calls i really appreciate,i and Mr.Satoshi Hikaru were married and divorced in Japan with 4 children, before my ex-husband relocated to Canada.he is a business man, We both agreed under a Separation Agreement incorporated, merged into and made part of the court decree for a settlement of Child Support, Spousal Support, and Medical support of $578,000.00 US D, he has paid me $78,000.00 US D but still owing $500,000.00 US D and the stipulated time for completion of payment has long elapsed.

I am now seeking your legal assistance in collecting the balance or helping me enforce and have him honor the agreement. I will be providing further information upon your request. I have already advised my ex that I will be retaining a lawyer, so he knows I am ready to take action to get my money from him. Please let me know if you require consultation fees before you advice or after the case is done, and if so I will require you to send me your retainer agreement base on an hourly rate so we can start from there. I need to know if I will be able to work with your terms.

Attached is a copy of the Separation Agreement, Decree of Divorce. This is my first time seeking for a lawyer and I believe a law firm like yours is needed to help me collect payment from him or litigate this matter if he fails to pay as promised. Please send me your retainer agreement for my review in your next email. Please be inform my English is not clear enough, let me know how we can do this?

Very Truly Your’s

Ms.Nana Hikaru

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.