Date First Reported: June 2016

Primary Name Associated: Gijs Kaashoek

Description of Potential Fraud:


Two Ontario firms have notified us that they received an email from the purported Gijs Kaashoek of HSM Steel Structures looking to retain them with regards to making a large commercial purchase.

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 purchaser (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 to the lawyer:

On Jun 25, 2016, at 8:28 AM, Gijs Kaashoek [email protected] wrote:


We are registered Europe based Oil field Construction firm and we
need an attorney to assist us in drafting a purchase and Sales
agreement with a buyer in your area. Are you able to take this
matter? If not, a referral will be appreciated.


Gijs Kaashoek
Director of Operations
HSM Steel Structures
Westfrankelandsedijk 9, Haven 528
3115 HG, Schiedam

Replying to the email brought this response:

I agreed to your rate and your retainer fees, kindly forward to me your engagement letter for my signing. The buyer is being represented by a broker in the US, and the broker is willing to complete the deal in less than two weeks. Buyer will make initial earnest money deposit through his broker that would cover attorney retainer fees as soon as the retainer is executed. Purchase price for the equipment is $1,395,000.00 USD.

Please understand that Atlas Copco has nothing to do with the sale of equipment, the equipment was originally purchased from Atlas Copco, now we selling equipment to Hemet Oil CO.

The oil rig is currently at the port of Chattanooga, Tennessee, seller is responsible for delivery of equipment to buyer location, equipment is being sold as it is, no warranties and no liens on the equipment. Primary inspection has been carried out on the equipment and buyer is satisfied, secondary inspection will be carried out before the final payment.

Forward to me your engagement letter and i will let you know what is next.


Gijs Kaashoek
Director of Operations
HSM Steel Structures
Westfrankelandsedijk 9, Haven 528
3115 HG, Schi

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]. We use this information for the warnings we post on AvoidAClaim. We do not disclose the names of firms that have provided us with information.

Ontario Lawyers - Call LAWPRO

If you are an Ontario lawyer acting on a matter that you suspect might be a fraud, call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899). One of our Fraud Team members 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, we will work with you to prevent the fraud and minimize potential claims costs.

What can you do to help put a stop to the fraud attempt?

You can simply stop replying to the fraudster’s emails or inform them that you suspect fraud and will not act on the matter. You can report the fraudsters’ email addresses to the email hosting company. If you have a fraudulent cheque you can destroy it or send it to the fraud department of the financial institution it is drawn upon. In Canada, you can report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

We are often asked if it is worthwhile to report the fraud attempt to the police in the hopes of helping catch the fraudsters. You can certainly report the fraud to your local or federal law enforcement agencies, but unfortunately it is often difficult, expensive and time consuming for them to attempt to shut down these online fraud perpetrators (though there are some successes).

What if the fraud has been successful?

If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you. See the LAWPRO website for instructions on how to report a claim.

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. To proactively prevent trust account shortfalls and malpractice claims, LAWPRO encourages firms to teach their lawyers and staff about fraud and how to recognize fraud attempts.