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LAWPRO has received multiple reports of an email funds transfer fraud targeting Ontario lawyers. Given the similarity of the conversations and the email addresses that are being used, we believe it is the same individual(s) behind this fraud and that there are other firms that have been targeted today, and over the last few weeks.

This fraud is remarkably simple. A lawyer or staff person at the firm will receive an email requesting assistance with making a payment. This request will appear to come from a firm lawyer who is out of the office. While the name of that lawyer will appear in the “From:” line of the email, the email address it was sent from will not be a firm email address (the real address will be hidden behind the name that is displayed). This leads the person in the office to believe they are communicating with their colleague, when in fact they are communicating with the fraudster.

The email addresses we are seeing used in these frauds to date are: [email protected]; [email protected]; and [email protected]

Please advise lawyers and staff at your firm to be highly suspicious of any email requests to transfer funds. Please consider implementing a policy that any such requests are carefully scrutinized and verified directly with the individual making the request.

If you are an Ontario lawyer and have been targeted by one of these frauds, please forward the emails you received to [email protected]. This will help us understand the scope of the fraud and to collect information that may help us prevent other lawyers from being duped.

The following is the conversation that occurred on one of these frauds between the lawyer in the office (the Office Partner) and the fraudster (Vacation Partner). In this case, the lawyer the fraudster was impersonating was out of the office preparing for a vacation.

From: Vacation Partner (fraudster) [[email protected].net

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:00 PM

To: Office Partner

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

Are you in the office?

From: Office Partner

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:00 PM

To: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

yes

From: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:03 PM

To: Office Partner

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

I am tied up in a meeting and I want you to handle a payment for me today, let me know how soon you can get it done and I will forward you the details.

From: Office Partner

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:05 PM

To: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

You’ll have to give me details

From: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:21 PM

To: Office Partner

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

Wire transfer amount is $17,860.00 to this beneficiary:

Bank name: Key Bank

Address: 200 Washington St, Watertown, NY 13601

Account name: Otto Glickman

Account number: 322017020841

Key bank routing number: 021300077

Address: 425 Bugbee Dr, Watertown, NY 13601

Let me know once you are done, I will discuss more details with you later.

From: Office Partner

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:44 PM

To: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

This money is sitting in trust? What file?

From: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:48 PM

To: Office Partner

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

Operations

From: Office Partner

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:49 PM

To: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

I am confused. Are you able to talk?

From: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:52 PM

To: Office Partner

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

Yes

From: Office Partner

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:54 PM

To: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

Ok. Just want to confirm – you are saying we are advancing this from general?

From: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Sent: June 9, 2017 12:58 PM

To: Office Partner

Subject: Re: Request
—————————————–

Yes

From: Office Partner

Sent: June 9, 2017 1:00 PM

To: Law firm bank

Subject: FWD Re: Request
—————————————–

Please prepare the following wire transfer. I will come by to review and sign the authorization.

Wire transfer amount is $17,860.00 to this beneficiary:

Bank name: Key Bank

Address: 200 Washington St, Watertown, NY 13601

Account name: Otto Glickman

Account number: 322017020841

Key bank routing number: 021300077

Address: 425 Bugbee Dr, Watertown, NY 13601

From: Vacation Partner (fraudster)

Sent: June 9, 2017 1:52 PM

To: Office Partner

Subject: RE: Request
—————————————–

What is the status of payment?

In this case, the Office Partner figured out it was a fraud while standing in line to speak to a teller at the bank. A near miss!

The banking details used in the apparently related fraud attempts we have seen are as follows:

Wire transfer for the amount of $17,860.00

Bank name: First National Bank of Texas

Address: 782 Interstate 30 Rockwall Texas 75185

Account number: 458361532

Router number: 11906271

Account name: Rita Elser

City: Royce

ZIP code: 75189

State Texas

Wire transfer for the amount of $17,860.00 has consultancy fee to the consultant account details below:

Bank name: Bank Of America

Bank address :‎ 8001 Villa Park Drive Henrico, VA 23228

Account Name: Brenda Bradley

Checking account number :325093199645

Routing number : 121000358

Consultant address: 805 Diablo Ave. Apt. 8 Novato CA. 94947

Categories: Alerts, Fraud