Commercial debt collection scam using the names Eng Bonham Steven (or Samuel Johnson) and Adey Steel Ltd
Date First Reported: June 2014
Primary Name Associated: Eng Bonham Steven
Description of Potential Fraud:
Firms in Kansas and Minnesota notified us that they received an email from the purported Eng Bonham Steven (or Samuel Johnson) of Adey Steel Ltd 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.
Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
From: Eng Bonham Steven [email protected]
Date: Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Subject: New Case
This is a request for your legal consultation services, I would like your advice regarding possible representation on a litigation case concerning breach of contract.
Eng Bonham Steven
Replying to the email brought this response:
Please let this email serve as our response regarding your firm representing our company. Find below our debtors information for a conflict check, before we can schedule for a telephone conference.
Garelick Steel Company
1900 N 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55411, United States
We hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience
Adey Steel Ltd
Falcon Industrial Park
Meadow Lane Loughborough
Leicestershire LE11 1HL
T: +44 793 701 4296
F: +44 809 174 0930
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.
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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.
June 16, 2014 at 8:14 pm, Sara Stephens, J.D. said:
Bobby Hale is active again…this time contacting our firm to sell a Dredge. His MO is identical to those you recite. He signs a retainer then after we demanded payments by electronic means, he disappears. He sent the retainer back signed then had no reasons why the deal was stalled. He provided no personal information or sellers info. Sent a pic of the dredge and claimed it was in Tennessee.