FRAUD ALERT: Bogus cheque scam involving "Frederick Stephen / Bertram Hubert"

LIANS has been made aware of a bogus cheque scam that has targeted a Nova Scotia firm in the last two weeks. The lawyer received a paper letter and cheque from “Frederick Stephen” with regard to a breach of a business loan agreement involving “Bertram Hubert”.

This scam is attempting to dupe a lawyer into transferring real funds from their trust accounts after having deposited the fake cheque received as payment from the supposed “debtor”. Please review a scan of the original letter and cheque (names redacted).

Although details in these letters may vary slightly, the scam process is consistent with commonly seen bogus cheque scam attempts. Any communication from these individuals may be simply dismissed.

Be vigilant with every request for services that you receive. Fraudulent requests for services can be made by email, paper mail and courier, as well as individuals who arrive in person to retain you and use your trust account to receive and disburse funds. Be cautious with all cheques received, especially if they exceed an agreed upon amount.

Visit our Fraud section to read more on current reported scams and how to avoid them.

Remember that you must always confirm a prospective client’s identification in accordance with the Client ID Regulations of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

If you decide to proceed with a transaction, be sure to go to the bank website to verify branch transit number, address and phone number on the cheque. Wait until the bank confirms that the funds are legitimate and are safe to withdraw from the deposit. Where possible, use the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS), an electronic funds transfer system that allows large payments to be exchanged securely and immediately.

For tips to avoid being victimized, read a list of "Red Flags”, and visit the Fraud section on lians.ca. To report or seek advice on dealing with fraud and scam attempts, contact Cynthia Nield at cnield@lians.ca or 902 423 1300, x346.

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