Commercial debt collection scam using the names Viktor Gustaf and Aptilo Networks AB
Date First Reported: October 2013
Primary Name Associated: Viktor Gustaf
Description of Potential Fraud:
[Updated Dec 2013]
A dozen lawyers in Ontario and the U.S. have notified us that they received an email from the purported Viktor Gustaf of Aptilo Networks AB looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.
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.
As in most of these types of frauds, there is a real company called Aptilo (in both the U.S. and in Sweden) and the name and employee names are being used without their knowledge.
Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
From: Viktor Gustaf [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2013 12:53 PM
Subject: Legal Assistance
I am contacting your firm in respect to a breach of contract agreement in your jurisdiction. Please do let me know if you can handle this case.
Aptilo Networks AB
S-121 77 Stockholm,
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.
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