Email scam information

17 July 2019

And now, a "Probate Genealogist"

A short scam. Like many it is based on shared last names."Good day"We are contracted probate researchers. This is an investigation about a client with whom you share the same surname, your assistance will be greatly appreciated. Are you aware of any investment made by such a person?"Thank you for ... More about And now, a "Probate Genealogist".

29 August 2018

Email fraud targets lawyers

Lawyers, homebuyers and real estate agents are being warned by Westpac of an email fraud with the potential to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single hit. Westpac’s Financial Crime Management Team recently disrupted a scam whereby a fraudster aimed to direct the $600,000 payment for the settlement ... More about Email fraud targets lawyers.

10 April 2018

House sale scam uses NZ passport

New Zealand lawyers are being targeted with an email fraud which uses a scanned New Zealand passport as "proof" of identity. The fraudster contacts lawyers by email (often through an online inquiry form) claiming to be John Whiteford (or, sometimes Whitefield) and asking for assistance to sell the property.Lawyers who ... More about House sale scam uses NZ passport.

15 March 2018

Yasuo Hirose wants help with some contract documents

One of the old standards has emerged, with a fraudster looking for help with drawing up some contractual documents.The mismatched email addresses and well-worn phrases such as "My name is" and "your jurisdiction" are good pointers to this clumsy attempted fraud.From: Yasuo Hirose <<>>Subject: Business MergerHello,My name is Yasuo Hirose. ... More about Yasuo Hirose wants help with some contract documents.

22 March 2017

Dredging purchase scam returns

A fraudulent email request for a lawyer to assist in the sale of a dredger has surfaced in New Zealand and other countries.Sent from someone using the name Suzuku Chau, the fraud follows a well-established pattern and is being reported on scam detection websites such as Avoid a Claim.The endgame ... More about Dredging purchase scam returns.

16 December 2015

Don't open that dodgy invoice from Sue Foley in South Africa

Suspected malware is being sent to New Zealand lawyers in an email headed "Overdue Invoice".This contains an attachment called "" and the following short message:"FYI"Please find attached overdue invoice ready for payment,kindly arrange payment as soon as possible without further delay."Regards"Sue Foley"The attachment should not be opened and the message ... More about Don't open that dodgy invoice from Sue Foley in South Africa.

4 December 2015

Rightful Claims/Worthington Clark is a legitimate business

New Zealand lawyers who have received inquiries from clients approached by the Australian company Worthington Clark Pty Ltd or its Rightful Claims division can be assured the business is long-established and genuine.The increase in internet or email-related fraud has made lawyers and their clients increasingly cautious about approaches from hitherto-unknown ... More about Rightful Claims/Worthington Clark is a legitimate business.

17 April 2015

An official request for legal consultation services from Maria Santana

An email scam which targets lawyers and which is circulating in New Zealand at the moment is almost a compilation of the most commonly-used scam words and phrases. From: Maria Santana <> Subject: Re: Legal Consultation Dear Counsel, This is an official request for your legal consultation services. My name ... More about An official request for legal consultation services from Maria Santana.

16 March 2015

Karen Carlson has a donation

Apparently elderly widow Karen Carlson has a donation which she needs a lawyer to handle. New Zealand lawyers who receive emails from her are advised not to bother responding as it is another attempted fraud. Subject: Endeavour to Contact Me Greetings, My name is Karen Carlson, 72 yrs old widow. ... More about Karen Carlson has a donation.

22 September 2014

AK Machinery and Andrew Weiss

The common "debt recovery" fraud has emerged again, this time with an exploratory email from "Andrew Weiss": From: Andrew Weiss <> Subject: Serious Case Dear Counsel On behalf of A K Machinery Inc., we request your legal services and possible representation on a Debt Recovery matter involving A K Machinery ... More about AK Machinery and Andrew Weiss.

9 September 2014

Terri B. Fagan and property buying scam

Lawyers are receiving emails which appears to be a resurrection of the property purchase in which the fraudsters pretend to be purchasing a genuine property in New Zealand.Earlier versions of the scam include this example. The following email is fake and should be deleted:From: Terri B. fagan []Subject: VerificationHi Counsel,My ... More about Terri B. Fagan and property buying scam.

5 August 2014

Thai Industrial Ltd now wants company registration help

Masayoshi Hiyama and "Thai Industrial Ltd" have popped up in lawyers' inboxes again. This time they want some help to register their company in "your jurisdiction". The last scam involved representing them in a "breach of equipment supply" matter.Don't bother "reverting back" to this email. From: Thai Industrial Ltd []Subject: ... More about Thai Industrial Ltd now wants company registration help.

14 July 2014

Don't be fooled by Green Winick

A virus email message purporting to come from Green Winick Attorneys at Law has been reported in New Zealand. The message has the heading "Notice to Appear in Court" and it may be accompanied by a number (such as "No#6022"). Anyone clicking on the link provided will risk downloading a ... More about Don't be fooled by Green Winick.

26 May 2014

Jeanne Fortuyn and her "charity"

An email being sent to New Zealand lawyers is the starting point for a well-established scam. Purporting to come from "Jeanne Fortuyn", different versions of the resulting scam have her aged 80 and 62. She wants some help in setting up a charity so she can donate millions of dollars. ... More about Jeanne Fortuyn and her "charity".

7 May 2014

Warning about job offers by phone

Lawyers working for a New Zealand law firm have reported receipt of phone calls purportedly from a foreign legal recruitment company. Investigation has indicated that the calls are a scam which aims to gain personal information which can be used for social engineering. The New Zealand Law Society says the ... More about Warning about job offers by phone.

9 April 2014

Yoshiko Tomoko and intellectual property agreement matter

From: Yoshiko Tomoko [] Subject: Web Enquiry Name: Yoshiko Tomoko Email: Phone: (03)3280-2151 Enquiry: Hello Attorney, We are a Production, publishing and marketing company in Japan. We have a breach of intellectual property agreement matter in your jurisdiction, we can forward you the agreement and other party information for ... More about Yoshiko Tomoko and intellectual property agreement matter.

26 November 2013

Marina Kitaya wishes to file a case against Andre Kitaya

This is a variation on the divorce settlement scams. The names are new but the exploratory email uses the catchphrase "court ordered payments of child support, spousal support, Equitable distribution..." From: Marina Kitaya [] Sent: Tuesday, 26 November 2013 11:44 a.m. To: [Name of New Zealand Lawyer] Subject: Dear Counsel, ... More about Marina Kitaya wishes to file a case against Andre Kitaya.

10 September 2013

Harmony Young wants to recover child and spousal support payments

This is a variation on the usual “separation agreement” scams. The criminals posing as "Harmony Young" were active last year when Harmony sought assistance with her divorce settlement.From: YOUNG HARMONY <> Date: Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 3:59 PM Subject: I NEED AN URGENT LEGAL ASSISTANCE To:Dear Counsel,I wish to ... More about Harmony Young wants to recover child and spousal support payments.

29 August 2013

Robinsons Solicitors and Tim Clark

The English Solicitors Regulation Authority has issued a warning about this scam, which uses the name of a genuine English solicitor and a genuine law firm. The initial email appears very plausible, as it appears to use a genuine law firm template (including a Solicitors Regulatory Authority registration number at ... More about Robinsons Solicitors and Tim Clark.

19 August 2013

Default loan agreement

This short email is the prelude to a much-used email scam which targets lawyers. If the scammer receives a response, further emails will result in the “defaulter” sending a large cheque in payment. Meanwhile “Dr Lienhard” will have developed a compelling reason for a quick turnaround of the proceeds after ... More about Default loan agreement.

1 November 2012

Business loan from Abraham Yuzuki

In case the lender is a genuine individual as in the George Bulden scam, his name has been deleted. From: Abraham J Yuzuki <> Subject: Hello I need your legal assistance. I provided a loan to a friend of mine Mr [First Name and Last Name] a business loan in ... More about Business loan from Abraham Yuzuki.

1 November 2012

George Bulden loans money

This variation on the business loan scam is circulating around New Zealand lawyers. The scammer can be located at the defunct email address and sometimes uses the name of a genuine person resident in New Zealand as the borrower. Another “borrower” name used is John Anderson. From: George Bulden ... More about George Bulden loans money.

23 October 2012

Divorce Settlement scam re-emerges: from Harmony Young this time

Variations of this email scam have been around for several years. This Harmony Young scam has also been reported from Canada and the United States. “Harmony” has also been reported as wanting legal assistance with filing a “contempt petition” against her ex-spouse. From: Harmony Young <> Date: 17 October 2012 ... More about Divorce Settlement scam re-emerges: from Harmony Young this time.

3 September 2012

Watch out for Karen Peck

This email has been sent to New Zealand lawyers. It is a version of the Collaborative Law Agreement and should be ignored. Dear Counsel , My name is Karen Peck. I was married to my ex husband Pacheco Samuel (who lives in your jurisdiction) for 7yrs and in December 2010, ... More about Watch out for Karen Peck.

11 January 2012

Warning: Scam so far unreported in New Zealand (Dan Nagasaaki and CCP Group)

The Canadian Avoidaclaim website is reporting a sophisticated email scam, which it says it one of the most convincing frauds it has encountered. A fake website is used and the initial contact email is personally addressed (avoiding the telling “Dear Counsellor” approach). In case this scam or a variation is ... More about Warning: Scam so far unreported in New Zealand (Dan Nagasaaki and CCP Group).

1 December 2011

Names to watch out for

Email scammers use a variety of names and identities as they attempt to defraud their targets. Some names appear to be used because the scammer has falsified or stolen identity documents. Names are also quickly changed if information is circulated about the scam. The following list of names is provided ... More about Names to watch out for.

10 November 2011

Top of the day from Anthony J Earl

This is a variation of the Mike Garry house purchase scam. From: Anthony john Earl [] Subject: ASSISTANCE PLEASE!!! Hello, Top of the day to you.I am looking to buy a property in New Zealand and would be glad if you can assist me in acquiring it.Please get back to ... More about Top of the day from Anthony J Earl .

27 October 2011

Maxwell Logan of BP Global Oil: This is definitely a scam

The following email has been sent to a number of New Zealand lawyers. The scam was first reported in Canada in 2009 ( From: Mrs Alice Wood [] Sent: Thursday, 27 October 2011 11:21 AM Subject: Request for Legal Assistance .. Attention Counsel, Request for Legal Assistance .. We the ... More about Maxwell Logan of BP Global Oil: This is definitely a scam.

7 September 2011

The Attention Counselor Scam

This email scam is a variation of the Collaborative Law Agreement scam. The only real difference is that the “client” is resident in London. Subject: Attention Counselor, Attention Counselor, I am Michel Susan Patrick. I am contacting this firm in regards to my settlement with my separated husband (Richard F.Patrick) ... More about The Attention Counselor Scam.

12 July 2011

PBX system hacking

There are reports of hackers gaining access to large law firms’ PBX systems and using one of its phone lines to route through international calls at charge to the firm. A private branch exchange (PBX) is a telephone exchange that serves a particular business or office, as opposed to one ... More about PBX system hacking.

7 June 2011

Email scam checklist for lawyers

Based on information reported by members of the legal profession and its own investigations, the New Zealand Law Society has produced a short checklist of questions which lawyers should ask when they receive an emailed request for legal services from a hitherto-unknown sender: Where does the email originate from? Is ... More about Email scam checklist for lawyers.

31 January 2011

AMINZ referral email scam

This involves an email sent to members of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ). The email is sent from a gmail account from a “Rod Aquino” and seeks assistance in collecting a debt. Like many lawyer scams the intention is for the target to agree to collect ... More about AMINZ referral email scam.

31 January 2011

Email scams still target lawyers

The New Zealand Law Society is warning lawyers to watch out for an email scam which involves payment of a fradulent cheque for a “matrimonial settlement” into law firm trust accounts. The scam, which is a variation on a longstanding confidence trick, was first noticed in New Zealand in mid-2010, ... More about Email scams still target lawyers.

31 January 2011

The Business Loan email scam

This scam starts with initial contact from a Hong Kong email address. The contact is made by someone calling themselves “Rupert Murdoch”. The initial email (from is headed “Legal Representative”. One example reads as follows: “Hi Counsel, “I provided a business loan of $578,000 to an individual (Robert Swanson) ... More about The Business Loan email scam.

1 November 2010

Email scam texts

Email scams still target lawyers Email scams aimed at New Zealand lawyers continue to appear in in-boxes. The following two emails are presented as examples of how the initial approach is made. My.lawsociety retains the (often quaint) spelling and phraseology in the emails but has removed any identifying features of ... More about Email scam texts.

27 October 2010

Offshore cheques in trust accts

Thousands removed from trust account Offshore cheques that get dishonoured may attract a fee of several thousand dollars, as one law firm found out when more than $5,700 was removed from its trust account. Wellington firm Peter C Gilbert is keen to alert practitioners not only to this, but also ... More about Offshore cheques in trust accts.

27 October 2010

Lawyer email scam warning

NZ lawyers warned to watch for scams New Zealand lawyers are still being targeted with email scams, which ask practitioners or law firms to recover debts from people allegedly residing in New Zealand. A recent variation pretends that the funds are owing from a matrimonial settlement concluded overseas and that ... More about Lawyer email scam warning.