Separation agreement scam using the name Jennifer Young Wong
Primary Name Associated: Jennifer Young Wong
Description of Potential Fraud:
A Manitoba lawyer notified us that he received an email from the purported Jennifer Young Wong looking to retain him with regards to a collecting overdue payments resulting from a separation 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 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 email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer, with subsequent responses and fake documentation:
From: Jennifer Wong [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: June-10-13 1:48 PM
Subject: Legal Counsel 10/06/2013..
My name is Jennifer Wong. I am contacting your law firm with regards to a divorce settlement with my ex-husband Richard Wong who reside in you jurisdiction. We had an out of court agreement for him to pay me the amount of 550,450.00 at this time have only received the amount of 44,000.00. I am seeking the help of your law firm to collect the balance from him as he has agreed to pay me the money, but have been inconsistent with the date. I believe that with the help of your law firm he will be willing to pay in order to avoid litigation. I look forward to your response on this matter.
Replying to the email brought this response:
Thank you for your prompt response to my inquiry. I am residing in South Korea for an assignment at present and my ex-spouse Harmony Young Wong lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a result of time difference it is a little bit difficult to reach you.
We were divorced in South Korea but my ex-husband Harmony Young Wong relocated to Canada. He is a citizen. We both agreed under a Separation Agreement incorporated, merged into and made part of the court decree for a settlement of Child Support, Spousal Support, and Medical support of $550,450.00, he has paid me $44,000.00 but still owing $670,600.00 and the stipulated time for completion of payment has long elapsed. This is the reason why I contacted you as there is already an agreement in place. I know for sure my ex-husband has the financial means to pay for balance he owes me.
Thus, I request your legal services to enforce the court order compelling him to remit balance owed me. Attached is a copy of the terms of separation agreement, and the Court’s Decree (i.e. Divorce Decree) and I will be pleased to provide further information on this case on request.
I expect this to be resolved in a timely manner. Further to this, kindly send me a copy of your retainer and if the terms are acceptable I will sign so we can commence the process without delay.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and professionalism
Jennifer Young Wong.
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.