Equipment purchase scam using the names Stan Walters and ABI Equipment Limited
Date First Reported: November 2019
Primary Name Associated: Stan Walters
Description of Potential Fraud:
Lawyers in Ontario and the U.S. have notified us that they received an email from the purported Stan Walters of ABI Equipment Limited 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 an email sent to the lawyer after the first contact:
From: Stan Walters [email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 10:56 AM
Subject: Re: LITIGATION:
Dear Steven Sewell,
We appreciate you giving us a chance to discuss our case. We placed an order for some goods from Fastenal Company back in August, 2018 and the terms of the sales contract requires we to pay 50% of the total cost of the ordered goods before delivery and the balance after we have received the same goods. However, after we made the 50% initial deposit, we did not receive any goods as required. The goods ought to be delivered in September, 2018. More time was given to them to deliver the goods which they were still unable to meet with. Hence, we requested for a refund.
We have made several efforts to have them refund the initial deposit, but to no avail. We have therefore decided to resort to legal means since there is an existing agreement prior to the transaction. Find below details of the supplier for your conflict check.
315-B Roslyn Road
Mineola, NY USA 11501
We have suffered so much loss as a result of this failed transaction and we are ready to proceed with litigation if the need should arise. Let us know the best way to have this issue tackled and we will comply as long as we get results. Furthermore , we have concerns and would like you to respond in detail in your reply.
Are they any foibles you see in this case? If litigation is involved, the distance gives us some concern with regards to court appearances. How can this be handled?
How much is your legal fee? Do you charge on hourly basis or contingency? What should we expect from you? Any guarantees? Please advise on your assessment of this case. A quick response will be appreciated.
ABI Equipment Limited
Phone: +44 (7) 44 139 9615
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.
June 05, 2020 at 1:45 pm, Confidential said:
Still going on. Just got an email today
June 16, 2020 at 9:19 am, Confidential said:
I received this same email yesterday. I suspected something because his email address was not a business account it was gmail. A simple google search of the Stan Walter brought me to this site. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.
June 19, 2020 at 10:13 am, Jonathan Jennings said:
Ohio lawyer: Just got the same one yesterday (6/19/20)
August 25, 2020 at 3:16 pm, Confidential said:
Received an email with this scam today in Macon, GA.
September 03, 2020 at 8:50 am, Attorney said:
Received this email in Madison, GA today.
October 02, 2020 at 8:39 am, Attorney said:
Received this email in GA today.
February 22, 2021 at 2:35 pm, Legal Assistant said:
Same scam in 2021, just using different names: Contact from Steve Harvey and Ira’s Construction Group LLC. Messaged us through an attorney review site.
May 19, 2021 at 7:21 am, Joel Murray said:
I am an attorney in Washington State. I’ve going back and forth with someone purportedly named Fredrick Wright of ABI Equipment Ltd. I’ve suspected something is up as he is using a Gmail account.
Simultaneously, there’s a very parallel inquiry taking place with someone purporting to represent Kier Group PLC (also in the UK) who is using an Outlook email account.
July 21, 2021 at 5:54 pm, attorney said:
I am in Wisconsin and I was suspicious after the initial email. I didn’t think anything of the Gmail account address, Hell I use a gmail account too. The language is dated and the word use strange. The length of time from the alleged swindle from a reputable Wisconsin based firm is nearly 2 years, but he wants immediate action. That got my spidey sense tingling too. I plan to play a little bit with ole fred and see if i can gather some useful info for everyone.
August 19, 2021 at 11:45 am, John Monroe said:
Stan Walter and Frederick Wright seem to use the same playbook:
I did provide you a summary of what our case is but am yet to receive words from you, please do advise you received a summary of our case and would like to know if there are any foibles you see in the case as earlier stated? If litigation is involved, the distance gives us some concern with regards to court appearances. How can this be handled? How much is your legal fee? Do you charge on an hourly basis or contingency? What should we expect from you? Any guarantees? Please advise on your assessment of our case.
Your response will be appreciated.
ABI Equipment Limited
August 22, 2022 at 11:20 am, Attorney said:
I have received two different variations, both using different addresses for “Fastenal”. One from Anna Micheals, Courtney Mcmcormick and Simon Kesterton. One has foibles misspelled. Waste of time.
Are they any fobbles you see in this case?
Are they any foibles you see in this case?