Over the last four days there has been a massive spike in bad cheque frauds targeting lawyers in across Canada (BC, Ontario and Quebec), the U.S. (NC, NY) and several other countries around the world (including Australia, Fiji, Italy, Scotland, Sweden, Turkey and the U.K.).
Almost 300 lawyers notified us that they received an initial contact message on one of these frauds. As LAWPRO would receive reports on a fraction of the attempted frauds, it would appear that thousands of lawyers have been targeted over the last four days. Several thousand lawyers have visited the AvoidAClaim blog for more information on these frauds.
Roughly half the frauds reported to us were from someone purporting to be Nan Zhang of NPI Lease Company Limited seeking help on a breach of lease matter.
About one third were from someone purporting to be Kiyoshi Yukio of NPI Lease Company Limited seeking help on a breach of lease matter.
We have several reports of someone purporting to be Jane Zhu of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited seeking help on a breach of lease matter.
This was the first time we have seen this lease scam and all three of the above names are new to us as well. In this bad cheque fraud the ‘customer’ accused of breaching the lease agreement will quickly send a (counterfeit) cheque for damages to the lawyers office, and the lawyer will be asked to wire the funds (minus fees and costs) to an offshore account. Click on the above links for more details on these scams. These email messages on them were more convincing than some of the ones we have seen in the past as they are personally addressed to the lawyers they were sent to (not BCC messages sent to large numbers of people).
Over the last four days we also received several reports of attempted frauds using names and scams we have seen many times before including:
- Zaira Hoshiko re collecting a spousal support payment from her ex-husband Allen Hoshiko further to a Collaborative Law Agreement.
- Brianna Shunshi re collecting a spousal support payment from her ex-husband Bill Shunshi further to a Collaborative Law Agreement.
If you have been targeted by these or similar frauds, please forward any of the emails and supporting documents that you have received to email@example.com.