Date First Reported: March 2012

Primary Name Associated: Vanessa Adone

Description of Potential Fraud:


A dozen Ontario lawyers have notified us that they have been contacted by the purported Vanessa Adone with regards to a collaborative family law agreement dispute. This is a fraud we have seen before under several other names and similar scenarios. For details on how this fraud works and a full list of names attached to it see our Confirmed Fraud page.

Here is the initial email:

From: vanessa adone abele
Date: Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 6:10 AM
Subject: lawyer needed

My name is Vanessa Adone and i am in need of legal assistance. I
loaned my ex” John Anderson” some money when we were dating to be
exact in september 2008.The loan was to be paid back in two years i.e
by September 2010, he has repaid part of it. I have contacted him
several times about the remaining balance but he always promises to
pay up but has not done so yet. I feel need to file legal charges
against him to get the balance of the money am owed. Please i need a
lawyer who can help me proceed with this case.

Thank you
[email protected]

One lawyer received the following fake ID, and the fraudsters went as far as to sign and fax back his retainer agreement (though no retainer payment as actually sent).

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 suspect 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.

If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you.

For more immediate updates on fraud and claims prevention, subscribe to the email or RSS feed updates from LAWPRO’s AvoidAClaim blog.

Fraud Fact SheetMore 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.