Commercial debt collection scam using the names Robert James and Ocean View
Date First Reported: June 2014
Primary Name Associated: Robert James
Description of Potential Fraud:
Two Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Robert James of Ocean View 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 email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
From: Ocean View [email protected]
Please respond to [email protected]
Ocean View company is a shipping company with gross income of about
189 Billion British Pound Sterling’s been generated yearly and we need
your services in the area of debt and assets recovering from our
customers in North and South America. If this areas are covered by
your ethics of practice, do kindly forward to us a retainer agreement
form for onward processing by our debt recovering department within
48hrs in which the clients (Debtor’s) information will be forwarded
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.