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Date First Reported: July 2016

Primary Name Associated: Stacy Kross

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Three U.S. firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Stacy Kross 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 initial email received by the lawyer:

In a message dated 4/27/2016 2:51:19 A.M. Eastern
Daylight Time,
[email protected] writes:

Dear Counsel,

I wish to file a contempt petition against my
ex-spouse for failure
to make court ordered payments of Child
Support, Spousal Support,
Equitable distribution and Medical support.
Please advise if you
handle such case.

Yours Truly,`
Stacy Kross.

Replying to the email brought this response:

So sorry for the late reply and thank you for your response to my inquiry. I will briefly explain the situation of my divorce and the reason your professionalism is needed to enforce dissolution agreement.

I and my ex-spouse fell in love the year 1996 and got married 23rd of May, 1997, at Dallas County Family Court Dallas, Texas. He is a medical practitioner for the UN.

I live in Rhode Island while my kids are with my aunt in your jurisdiction and also my ex-spouse Kennedy Kross resides there in Rice County, Minnesota.

I and my ex-spouse agreed under a separation agreement incorporated, merged into and made part of the court order for a settlement of Child Support, Spouse Support and Medical Support he still owes me and the stipulated time for the completion of payment April 17th, 2013 has long elapsed. You will get better understanding after reading through the attached Separation Agreement and Decree of Divorce.

This is the reason I contacted your firm as there is already an agreement in place. Thus, I request your firm’s legal service to enforce the court order compelling him to remit the balance payment he owed me. I would appreciate if you kindly review the attached Separation Agreement and the Decree of Divorce to see how you can assist in compelling my ex-spouse to pay me the balance he owed me.

KINDLY NOTE:

I would please request that you send me a copy of your Retainer Agreement in your next mail so I can review and see if I accept the terms and conditions of your Retainer Agreement for us to move further. Also in your next mail, kindly let me know the total cost of your retainer fee, as I am unable to use the telephone due to my hearing problem this is the reason I did not call your office else I would have loved to call… I am having difficulty in hearing but I will call your office after reading through your Retainer Agreement so as to fix time for consultation. please note that all communication would be refereed through email as this is the only means of communication for us because of my hearing problems.

I am due for medical surgery on my ear next month and this is one of the reason I need your professionalism in recovering this funds from my ex-spouse as I need the money to pay my medical bills. So I will appreciate if all questions you need to ask should be sent to me via email as this is the only medium of communication for me right now.

Please find attached to this email the Separation Agreement and the Decree of Divorce for your preview.

Yours Faithfully,

Stacy.


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]. We use this information for the warnings we post on AvoidAClaim. We do not disclose the names of firms that have provided us with information.

Ontario Lawyers - Call LAWPRO

If you are an Ontario lawyer acting on a matter that you suspect might be a fraud, call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899). One of our Fraud Team members 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, 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. 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 it is drawn upon. 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).

What if the fraud has been successful?

If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you. See the LAWPRO website for instructions on how to report a claim.

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. To proactively prevent trust account shortfalls and malpractice claims, LAWPRO encourages firms to teach their lawyers and staff about fraud and how to recognize fraud attempts.