Date First Reported: October 2013

Primary Name Associated: Caroline Berube

Description of Potential Fraud:


Seven lawyers in Ontario and the U.S. have notified us that they received an email from the purported Caroline Berube looking to retain them with regards to a breach of a business loan agreement.

This is a classic 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 other names associated with it , and our Fraud Fact Sheet for a list the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.

Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 11:30 PM
Subject: Your Services Neede

Good day,

I am Caroline Berube, an attorney at HJM Asia Law & Co Firm here in China. I urgently have a debt collection matter for you in your jurisdiction. Please reply me via email to discuss this further. Because of the time difference between China and your country, we can communicate via email.

Hope to receive a quick response to this email.

Address: B-1002, R&F Full Square Plaza
No. 16, Ma Chang Road, ZhuJiang New City Tianhe District, Guangzhou Guangdong, China 510623
Tel: +8620 8121 6605
Fax: +8620 8121 6505

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 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.