I lend Brian Smith whom now resides in your jurisdiction the sum of $750,000.00…
A variation of several loan scams is circulating among New Zealand lawyers. Like all the previous ones this pretends that a large loan has been made to the would-be client, but only a small portion has been repaid.
The lender has now shifted to New Zealand (the words “now resides in your jurisdiction” should set alarm bells ringing loudly) and the kind lender wants to give him one last chance to repay before she takes legal action. The lawyer who has been contacted is provided with a “Loan Agreement Promissory Note” and collection looks easy.
As always, the “easy” work ends up with arrival of a cheque from the lender for the amount owing. After removing their fee, the lawyer remits the remainder to the lender – who suddenly needs the money urgently. The cheque bounces a few days later.
Details of the two initial emails sent to a New Zealand law firm are shown below. Identifying particulars have been removed. Note that the scammers have a number of forged documents to “prove” the loan and also change names regularly.
First email: Breach of loan agreement
From: www-data [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Christina Freitag
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 9:36 a.m.
Subject: Re: Legal Assistance.
I am in need of your legal assistance regarding a breach of loan agreement I provided a friend of mine in the amount of $750,000.00 He needed this loan to complete an ongoing project he was handling in January 2011. He now resides in your jurisdiction and the loan was for 24 months with interest accrued at the rate of 8.5%. The capital and interest were supposed to be paid on January, 2013 but he has only paid $50,000.
Please let me know if this falls within the scope of your practice, so that I can provide you with the loan documents and any further information you need to know.
Second email – after a response from the targeted lawyer
From: Christina Freitag [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 8:56 a.m.
To: [Name of Lawyer]
Subject: Re: Legal Assistance.
Good day to you and thanks for responding to my email.
My name is Christina Freitag and my address is 110 Janalee Drive, Henderson, KY 42420. On January 10th, 2011, I lend Brian Smith whom now resides in your jurisdiction the sum of $750.000.00 with 8.5% interest on two years fixed term and to pay back January 10th, 2013. Hey had only paid me $50,000 but still owing $700,000.
We both used to live here in Kentucky at the time the loan was made, but He had now relocated to your jurisdiction (Auckland Area). I was advised to seek legal assistance in my borrower new jurisdiction which is why I contacted you to act as my counsel in retrieving these funds. There has not been any attorney working on this case. Different payment dates have been promised and I still have not received anything. My last contact with my Borrower, I was told I would receive payment not later than Mid March 2013 and till now, nothing has been paid.
Kindly let me know what your fees would be in order for me to inform Mr. Smith to expect contact from you as you have been authorized to act on my behalf. On your approval, I would like to forward your details to him so He knows a law firm is representing me and, I could sue for breach of agreement if He does not oblige to the terms of the loan agreement. I would like to give him this last chance to fulfill his obligations before we start legal proceeding if need be.
Please do get back to me so I can furnish you with the required details to contact my borrower on my behalf as I know He respect the law and wouldn’t want to be litigated. Before we proceed, kindly forward your fee/retainer agreement for my review and if satisfied with terms and conditions upon receipt; I shall make immediate provision for the fee for you to begin work.
Thank you for your anticipated co-operation and understanding. Contact me should you require more information. I have attached here a copy of the Loan Agreement Promissory Note and proof of partial payment He made for your peruse. My borrower’s name is Brian Smith.