Intellectual Property Rights Fraud
In intellectual property rights fraud scams, a lawyer is contacted to help a (usually overseas) business collect damages from a purported IP or copyright infringement by a company in the lawyer’s jurisdiction. The fraudster will provide documentation showing the terms of the agreement and how it was violated. A retainer agreement will be signed, but the fraudster will delay in paying the retainer fee. Instead, the lawyer will be asked to deduct any fees from the debt payment.
When the lawyer has sent a demand letter (or sometimes, before any letter has been sent) a cheque will arrive. The lawyer will be asked to deposit the cheque in the trust account and wire the balance (after fees are deducted) to an overseas account. Of course, the cheque is fraudulent and the lawyer will be left with a shortfall in the trust account.
In this type of scam, the fraudsters will often use the details of a real company, including web address, names of real employees and the mailing address. The contact phone number and email, however, will be fake. We’ve seen the same company names used several times, with only the name of the fraudster changing.
Below is a list of names associated with this type of fraud.