Seven lawyers in the U.S. have notified us that they received an email from the purported Hina Campbell looking to retain them with regards to a collecting overdue payments resulting from a separation agreement.
This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring real funds from their trust accounts after depositing a fake cheque received as payment from the debtor (who is part of the fraud). See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and to see other names associated with it. Our Fraud Fact Sheet lists the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.
Here is the initial email, subsequent replies and fake documentation sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
Date: Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM
Please do you handle cases on failure to obey court order of child support?
Ms Hina Campbell.
Replying to the email brought this reponse:
I appreciate your response to my inquiry The reason I have contacted your law office is that there is already an agreement in place and I am bent on getting what is due for me and my children, I tried calling but its little bit difficult to reach your law office, I will try as much as possible to let you into what transpired between I and my ex-spouse before he relocated to United States. We were divorced in Japan and my ex husband Mr. Walter Campbell now lives in San Antonio, TX He is a citizen in your country. We both agreed under a separation agreement incorporated, merged into and made part of the court decree for a settlement of child support, spousal support, and medical support of $652,900.00, he has paid me $142,300.00 but still owing $510,600.00 and the stipulated time for completion of payment has long elapsed and i know he has the financial means to pay the balance owed to me. I request your legal services with regards to compelling him to remit balance owed to me. Attached is a copy of the Separation Agreement and the Final Judgment. I will be pleased to provide further information on this case on request and I expect this to be resolved in a timely manner. Furthermore, I seek to retain your firm for this purpose. Please send me a copy of your retainer agreement and if the terms are acceptable I will sign so we can commence the process without delay,
Thank you for your cooperation .
Hina Walter Campbell Decree
Hina Walter Campbell Separation Agreement
How to handle a real or suspected fraud
If you have been targeted by any of these frauds, please forward any of the emails and supporting documents that you have received to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you suspect you are acting on a matter that might be a fraud, call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899). We will talk you through the common fraud scenarios we are seeing and help you spot red flags that may indicate you are being duped. This will help you ask appropriate questions of your client to determine if the matter is legitimate or not. If the matter you are acting on turns out to be a fraud and there is a potential claim, we will work with you to prevent the fraud and minimize potential claims costs.
If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you.
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Fraud Fact Sheet More fraud prevention information and resources are available on the practicePRO Fraud page, including the Fraud Fact Sheet, a handy reference for lawyers and law firm staff that describes the common frauds and the red flags that can help identify them.