Debt Collection Fraud
In debt collection fraud scams, a lawyer is contacted to help an overseas business collect on a commercial debt from a purported borrower in the lawyer’s jurisdiction, or facilitate the purchase of a large piece of commercial equipment (often a dredger). The fraudster will provide documentation about the loan, sale of equipment, or whatever else is involved in the debt or transaction. A retainer agreement will be signed, but the fraudster will delay in paying the retainer fee. Instead, the lawyer will be asked to deduct any fees from the debt payment.
The lawyer will be asked to deposit the cheque from the debt collection sale or in the trust account and wire the balance (after fees are deducted) to an overseas account. Of course, the cheque is fraudulent and the lawyer will be left with a shortfall in the trust account.
In this type of scam, the fraudsters will often use the details of a real company, including web address, names of real employees and the mailing address. The contact phone number and email, however, will be fake. We’ve seen the same company names used several times, with only the name of the fraudster changing.
In other variations of the scam, the fraudster may claim to be private lender or a firm looking to outsource debt collection work to third parties lawyers.
Below is a list of names associated with this type of fraud.