14 April 2008
Alert! New scam targets US and Canadian - lawfirms become money mules with checkfraud
In the past 3 weeks we received significant number of complaints from law firms in the US and Canada on the following type of 419 Advance Fee check fraud.
Attached you find the latest 419 Advance Fee Fraud proposal that targets Law firms in the US and Canada.
The proposal appears to come from a legitimate Chinese company that is looking for legal representation for their business with US and
However the scam is designed to capitalize on:
- the common practice of a Attorney-Client retainer.
- the good relation between Legal firms and their bank.
- an attorney to be more resilient, against claims of the bank and/or law enforcement, then the average check fraud victim.
- Attorney-"client" confidence.
Once an agreement is reached the "client" deposits the retainer with a counterfeit check. Because the bank trusts the law firm the amount on
the check will immediately be credited in to their account.
The check has an higher amount then the agreed retainer and the difference will be returned by the law firm to their "client".
Only after some days or weeks the check bounces as a counterfeit.
In general it seems unlikely for a legal firm to lodge a counterfeit check. Attorney-client-confidence stands in the way of addressing the
check fraud and the (client) perpetrator fast or not at all. Law firms become "money Mules"
Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations
------Copy of scam money mule check fraud proposal format-----
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2008 10:08:21 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Only Canada and US Lawyers Format
To: "J.Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Attention: Principal Counsel,
Re: Legal Representation
The management of Cheung Kong Technology (HK) Co., Ltd. requires your legal representation for our North American Customers.
We are of the opinion that your ability to consolidate payments from North America will eradicate delays due to inter-continental monetary
transaction between Asia and North America .
More so, we understand that a proper Attorney-Client Retainer agreement will provide the necessary authorization and we are most inclined to
commence talks with you on this matter as soon as possible.
Of course, the provisions of your written attorney-client retainer agreement will control over our business relationship.
Your consideration of our request is highly anticipated and we look forward to your prompt response. Please call +852 - 301 - 59103 during
office hours or send a fax: +852 -301 -72504 or email.
Yang Yuanqing (Mr.),
CHEUNG KONG Technology (HK) Co., Ltd.
12/F Cheung Kong Centre
2 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong
Tel No: +852 - 301 - 59103.
Fax No: +852 -301 -72504.
----End 0f copy Scam Format----
by the 419 Unit of Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations
uncovered that this particular scam was developed and tested by a leading Nigerian 419 AFF scam conglomerate with over 3500 members, that is successfully managed from Europe by a Nigerian citizen since 2003.
And has active cells in China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Dubai, Egypt, Canada, The US, Ghana, South Africa, Cyprus, Spain,
Greece, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, The UK, Ireland and Norway.