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Date First Reported: August 2016

Primary Name Associated: Paul Kamermans

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Firms in Ontario and Tennessee have notified us that they received an email from the purported Paul Kamermans of Mokveld Valves looking to retain them with regards to assisting on a large commercial purchase & sale.

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: Paul Kamermans [email protected]
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Date: 08/02/16 01:14 PM
Subject: Available attorney needed urgently!

Hello 

Greeting to you and hope you are doing great! Just to have you posted that we are licensed and based European oil field construction firm, we need an attorney to assist us in drafting a purchase and sales agreement with a buyer in your area. Are you able to take this matter? If not, a referral will be appreciated.

Regards,

Paul Kamermans
Marketing & Sales Director at Mokveld Valves bv
Mokveld Valves BV
PO Box 227
2800 AE, Gouda
NETHERLANDS

Replying to the email brought this response:

We have been negotiating the sale of an oil rig to a buyer in your state and have made some progress in price agreement. At this point we need an attorney that would draft a purchase and sales agreement for this transaction.

Find our buyers information below for your conflict check.

Miller Energy Resources Inc
3651 Baker Highway
Huntsville, TN 37756.

I also attached details of the oil rig equipment for your review and I would like to know your rate and your retainer fee. Please send to me your engagement letter if our buyer clears your conflict check.

Regards,

Paul Kamermans
Marketing & Sales Director at Mokveld Valves bv
Mokveld Valves BV
PO Box 227
2800 AE, Gouda
NETHERLANDS

A lawyer who contacted Mokveld Valves directly (as opposed to the fake contact information provided by the fraudster), was able to confirm the fraud:

We confirm receipt of your e-mail, for which we thank you.
The inquiry that you received did not come from our company.
This e-mail was sent by an imposter.
Mr. Kamermans is our Sales Manager, however he is the victim of an identity fraud.
We have received many reactions from law companies in the USA and we wonder if you have seen this kind of spam/defraud before.
If there are more victims like Mr Kamermans, we might be able to do file a complaint together.
Please send us any information that you have.


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.