Confirmed frauds and fraudster names
LAWPRO has seen a significant increase in bad cheque frauds targeting lawyers all over North America in 2011, and new names are constantly being attached to the frauds. Several hundred lawyers from across North America have reported to us that they received various versions of these messages attempting these frauds. The reports to us are the tip of the iceberg – clearly thousands of lawyers are being targeted – and some have been successfully duped.
These frauds look like legitimate legal matters and are intended to cause you to disburse funds on a bad cheque, bank draft or US cashier’s cheque deposited in your trust account. These fraudsters will actively respond to communications (by email and even phone), sign retainer agreements (but not pay retainers as promised), provide identity documents and other supporting documentation and information, including copies of the collaborative agreement, a divorce judgement or decree, a payment agreement and ultimately a fake cheque or bank draft. The counterfeit documents are very good – on occasion they have fooled bank staff. You can’t be complacent. The fraudsters go to great lengths to create scenarios that otherwise appear to be legitimate legal matters. They are prepared to engage in extensive and ongoing communications over weeks and even months, usually by email, but also by phone, and on occasion, even in person. Click here to view the common red flags of an online fraud.
We have compiled a list of confirmed frauds that Avoid a Claim has made lawyers aware of. It is constantly being updated. For ease of searching we have grouped the frauds by ‘type’, where you’ll find the names used by the fraudster and the date (in brackets) of the most recent notification we’ve receive. The date in brackets is the most recent notification we’ve received that the scam is still active.