An Ontario lawyer has reported to us that he received a “business complaint” that is purportedly from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. While the email address displayed as the sender says “Ministry of Government and Consumer Service”, the email is actually from [email protected] This is clearly not an Ontario government email address. And while the link in the message displays as a PDF document, it actually links to a ZIP file. Don’t click on the link as it likely will trigger the downloading of malware to your computer.

This is the full text of the message:

From: The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 12:16 PM
To: Dear Attorney
Subject: The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services Complaint

Dear Attorney:

A complaint has been filed against your Business.

Enclosed is a copy of the complaint which requires your response. You have 7 days to file a rebuttal if you so desire.
You may view a copy of the complaint at the link below.


Rebuttals should not exceed 10 pages and may refer to any additional documents or exhibits that are available on request.

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services cannot render legal advice nor can The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services represent individuals or intervene on their behalf in any civil or criminal matter.

Please review the enclosed complaint. If filing a rebuttal please do so during the specified time frame.

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail.

While we have seen instances of fake lawyer complaints in several U.S. jurisdictions, this is the first time we have seen one targeting Ontario lawyers. LAWPRO encourages all Ontario lawyers to carefully review incoming email messages before clicking on links or opening attachments in them.

Categories: Fraud Prevention