Debt collection scam using the name Matthew Stalkhouse
Date First Reported: October 2015
Primary Name Associated: Matthew Stalkhouse
Description of Potential Fraud:
Two Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Matthew Stalkhouse looking to retain them with regards to a debt collection.
This appears to be a 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 to the lawyer:
From: inbox [mailto:[email protected] ]
Sent: October-05-15 12:15 PM
Subject: Lawyer Assistance
My name is Matthew Stalkhouse. My family and I were planning on relocating
to the U.S after our last visit in 2013. In May 2014, we made payment for a
home in your jurisdiction. Shortly after we have made payment, one of the
joint-owners refused to go along with the transaction, so I asked that my
money be refunded. Mr. Robert Massey who I paid the money immediately
refunded $71,400 remaining a balance of $121,600 which he is yet to pay me
till date. Kindly write to let me know if this is a matter you can handle
for me. I can forward all the relevant documents to you for your review.
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.
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Fraud Fact SheetMore 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.