Separation agreement scam using the name Alice Swang
Date First Reported: July 2014
Primary Name Associated: Alice Swang
Description of Potential Fraud:
[Updated Dec 2014]
25 firms in Canada, the U.S. and overseas have notified us that they received an email from the purported Alice Swang looking to retain them 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:
Dear Counsel ,
My name is Alice Swang , I am contacting your firm in regards to a separation Agreement with my ex husband (Yan Swang) who resides in your jurisdiction.I am currently in Seoul.
We had Divorce settlement agreement for him to pay the Agreement he own me ,hope to hear from you as soon as possible Awaiting Thanks.
126 Palpan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-220, South Korea.
Some lawyers’ emails referred to ‘Maria Barry’
My name is maria barry , I am contacting your firm in regards to aseparation Agreement with my ex husband (Yan Swang) who resides in yourjurisdiction.I am currently in Seoul.We had Divorce settlement agreement for him to pay the Agreement he own me which he default .Please if this is not your area of practice, refer me to a good attorney.hope to hear from you as soon as possible awaiting your responds Thanks .
> Warmest Regards,
Replying to the email brought this response and fake documentation:
Dear Counsel ,Thank you very much for your concern and supports , If you received the Separation Agreement attach please revert back to me as soon as possible i will be happy to have your agreement sheet so i can endorsed my signature on it , because i want my funds back awaiting your responds thank you .Warmest Regards ,Alice .
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.