Equipment purchase fraud using the names Ben Van Uden and Wirtgen Nederland B.V.
Date First Reported: July 2018
Primary Name Associated: Ben Van Uden
Description of Potential Fraud:
Three Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Ben Van Uden of Wirtgen Nederland B.V. looking to retain them with regards to making a large commercial purchase.
This appears to be a bad cheque scam (with a real company likely being impersonated) 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 Cybercrime and Bad Cheque Scams Fraud Fact Sheet lists the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.
Here is the email sent to the lawyer:
Wirtgen Nederland.B.V [email protected] wrote:
Please our company need your legal service in your vicinity. Do get back to us for further information.
Ben Van Uden
Wirtgen Nederland B.V.
Velsenstraat 1, 4251 LJ Werkendam,
Phone: 31 183 449 237
Fax: 31 183 44 92 38
Replying to the email brought this response:
Thanks for your prompt reply to our inquiry, our company “Wirtgen Nederland B.V.”, We currently have a buyer for three of our Construction Equipment ” such as.
(1) Concrete Mixers (1141)__________________($137,000.00 CAD)
(1) Asphalt Drum Mixing Plant(235)____________($146,000.00CAD)
(2) Stone Crusher (885)______________________($152,000.00CAD)
Attached is the requested Letter of Intent for your review .
The buyer is (Dean Construction Co. Ltd.) office located at (2720 Front Road Windsor, Ontario N9J 2N5,Canada) and we have negotiated the Letter of intent sent by the buyer. Both companies have agreed to the content of the letter of intent. Base on this, we will like to engage your firm as our company Lawyer, in this transaction .to help us draft the Purchase and Sales Agreement and provide other service as requested by the buyer in the Letter of intent.
NOTE: That the buyer has their stock broker (Farrow Broker) who is representing them in regards of the inspection and the transaction of the purchase equipment.
Please what is the total cost of your retainer fee to draft the purchase and sales agreement and send us your (retainer agreement) to sign so that you can proceed from there.
Looking forward to receive your retainer agreement so that we can proceed.
Ben Van Uden
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.
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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. 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.