Date First Reported: April 2014

Primary Name Associated: Albert Dan

Description of Potential Fraud:


Two Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Albert Dan 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, and subsequent reply:

Albert Dan [email protected]
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
15/04/2014 02:39 AM


Haven gone through your profile, I believe you will be able to help
me. I borrowed money to my in-law who has paid me only 20 percent of
the money and has refused to pay me the balance so I want legal action
to be taken. Your urgent assistance will be highly appreciated. Send
your reply to my alternative email: [email protected]

I await your response.

Mr Albert Dan

Replying to the email brought this response:

Sorry for the delay in responding to your email, it’s as a result of my failing health. I lent to my son In-law Mr. Nathaniel Smith the sum of $570,000; He needed this loan to complete/facilitate payment & purchase of building machinery and equipment. My son in-law currently resides in your city and also has a private residential property there at which the loan was secured. The loan was for 2 years and interest rate of 8.5%. The capital and interest were supposed to be paid on before the 6th of August 2013 but has only paid $114,000 and has continued promising to make the balance payment each time I ask.

I reside in Japan but receiving treatment in the UK. I do not know when best to call you to set up a consultation due to the time differences between my location and yours. Please feel free to ring me via +447509756715 any time. I have known him for over 5 years prior to granting him the loan. I am in constant contact with him and even though He has promised to pay the balance, I think the threat or possibility of litigation would serve as a catalyst to make him pay soon. Find attached the Loan Agreement and my passport.

I expect this to be a non-litigation collection from the borrower but I am prepared to litigate this matter if He is not ready to pay the balance owed. This loan is not in dispute. The present economic down turn has been cited by him as the reason for delayed payment. He has continually requested for more time, however I strongly believe that the introduction of legal pressure may initiate immediate payment from him. I will deeply appreciate if you can assist me as I need the money to settle a lot of bills including medical bills.

I know there is a lawyer-client retainer fee that may be paid in the process of the exercise, pending your conditions. Kindly, send me an engagement letter so that we can proceed with this issue with him. I want to also let you know that my illness have caused some strain in my finance as I am currently leaving on dialysis. I am open to either an hourly or contingency fee basis. Please advice which works better for you. Please do forward me your retainer agreement and your terms for my review.

Hope to hear from you.

Best Regards
Mr. Albert Dan
[email protected]
6-23, Aoyama 6-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 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. Instructions on how to report a claim are here.

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.