Commercial debt collection scam using the names Steven Parker and Chuo Engineering Co
Primary Name Associated: Steven Parker
Description of Potential Fraud:
Seven U.S. lawyers have notified us that they received an email from the purported Steven Parker of Chuo Engineering Co looking to retain them with regards assisting on corporate matters, but in reality is likely a lead-up to a commercial debt collection scam or similar kind of scam.
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 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 contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer, subsequent response and fake documentation:
I want to inquire if your firm handles breach of contract cases. A referral will be welcomed if this is not your area of practice.
Replying to the email brought this response:
Thank for your reply. On behalf of Chuo Engineering Co.,Ltd, I want to thank you for taking time in following up with our request. Our company purchased electrical products from (Hoyt Electric Instrument Works) which you already know is our debtor. We carried out an inspection on the materials before making payment and arrangements on shipping. After the first inspection was done we agreed to pay them the full amount which was stated on the sales contract. On the day of sailing we carried out a final inspection and discovered that the materials on board was not the same we had inspected previously, on that note we cancelled our order and requested for our funds. They promised to return the funds two weeks from the day of cancellation which was 25th of June 2013. We feel if we do not take quick action on this matter we might be on the risk of loosing $1,050,000.00 US dollars. Find attached our email correspondence with Hoyt Electric Instrument Works.
Please kindly send us your engagement letter, upon reviewing the agreement we will schedule for a telephone conference. Once you acknowledged this email, we will send you the supporting document.
Senior Executive Manager
Chuo Engineering Co.,Ltd.
KOJIMACHI PARK HOUSE Building, 4-5-7 Kojimachi,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083,Japan.
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.
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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.