Further to our post on AvoidAClaim yesterday (Fake Toronto law firms tied to an international inheritance collection scam), we have discovered another fake Toronto firm and another fake firm purportedly in Ghana. All four of these firms have websites are all virtually identical. The names and URLs for the fake firms are as follows:
- Hubbel and Steven LLP hubbelsteven.com
- Vaughan and Palmer www.vaughanandpalmer.com
- Farrell Mallon and Co Solicitors farrellmalonlaws.com
- William Mensah Chambers williammensahchambers.com
Some of the text on these sites appears to have come from a national Canadian firm and a well-known Atlantic Canada law firm. Some of the lawyer bio content appears to have come from the same Altantic Canada law firm. These sites look very professional. They include area of practice information, lawyer biographies, contact information (street addresses, email addresses, phone and fax numbers) and even RSS feeds. They are very convincing, other than the fact that the group photo of the partners is actually a cast photo from Law and Order UK.
We learned of the first fake firm when a Toronto lawyer informed us of a website being used to lend legitimacy to an inheritance collection scam targeting a person in Europe. The target of the scam dealt with a European lawyer who in turn contacted a Toronto lawyer he knew from prior dealings. Our investigations lead us to the other three sites. Contact information in domain name registrations lead us to another site that is no longer operating.
We assume all four of these sites are being used for similar scams, although at this time we are not aware of anyone in Ontario being targeted. However, it serves as a reminder of the international nature of fraud attempts and how easy it is to mimic real firms to lend a scam some legitimacy.
Cross posted on AvoidaClaim