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Date First Reported: March 2016

Primary Name Associated: Maria Ji Hun

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Firms in Texas and Ontario notified us that they received an email from the purported Maria Ji Hun 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:

De: maria jong-soo [mailto:[email protected]]
Enviado el: Lunes, 22 de Diciembre de 2014 01:32 p.m.
Asunto: LEGAL COUNSEL

Good day Attorney
I need your legal counsel in regards the divorce with my ex husband XIN JI HUN who now live in your country

Regards
Maria Ji Hun
Address: 5-813, Gyeong-un-Dong, Seoul, Korea
81-748637803

Replying to the email brought this response:

Good Morning Counsel,

I live in South Korea while My ex-husband XIN JI HUN lives in your country Canada. We were divorced in South Korea before he relocated to Canada. 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 $941,100.00. He has paid me $270,500.00 but he is still owing
$670,600.00 and the stipulated time for completion of payment has long elapsed.
This is the reason why I contacted you as there is already an agreement in place. I know for sure my ex-husband has the financial means to pay the balance he owes. Thus, I request your legal services to enforce the court order compelling him to remit balance owed me as stipulated in the Court’s Divorce Decree. I am very ready and pleased to provide further information on this case on request. I expect this to be resolved in a timely manner. Sequel to this and if you are ready to proceed, kindly send me a copy of your retainer and if the terms are acceptable I will sign so we can commence the process without delay.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and professionalism.

Yours truly,
Maria Ji Hun
5-313, Gyeong-un-Dong,
Seoul, Korea
81-80321311825

Ji Hun Certificate

Ji Hun passport

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.

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.