Information on E-mail Scams

Members with information concerning suspected scam e-mails targeting lawyers, may send the information to communications@lawsoc.org.sg for consideration for inclusion in this page.

Impersonation of Legal Practitioner and Law Practice - 18 July 2017

The Law Society has been informed that a bogus website (http://www.wychambers.com) has been set up to impersonate the law practice of Central Chambers Law Corporation ('CCLC') (http://www.centralchambers.com.sg) and that an unauthorised person has been impersonating the managing director of CCLC, Mr Ronnie Tan.

Members of public who receive any e-mail from the e-mail address - ronnie_tan@wychambers.com or any other e-mail address ending with @wychambers.com are advised not to reply.

Advisory on Scam - 23 January 2017

The Law Society has received information that some members of public have received 'court notice' sent via e-mail purportedly from the law firms of:

  1. Patrick Tan & Co Singapore LLP;
  2. David Ho & Co Singapore LLP; and
  3. Ti Tung-Li & Associates.

There are no such law firms in Singapore. Members of public are advised not to respond to any e-mail sent from these entities.

Advisory on Scam Targeting Law Practices - 25 November 2014

The Law Society has received information of a possible scam targeting law practices. Some members have reported that they received e-mails from a person named 'Mike Brown'.

Mike Brown will send an email to a lawyer informing that he had been asked to contact a particular Singapore law practice (which he names) about an inheritance case from a relative of his that passed away. In subsequent e-mails to the lawyer, Mike Brown says that he had been notified by that particular Singapore law practice to pay them $12,594.10 for a Certificate Bond. According to Mike Brown, he is unable to come up with the money and he will ask the lawyer to assist and make the payment to that particular Singapore law practice. Mike Brown gives an assurance that he will repay the lawyer twice the amount once the inheritance case has been completed.

Lawyers should remain vigilant and avoid making advance payments without conducting stringent checks.

Lawyers may report an offence bearing the mentioned modus operandi at any Neighbourhood Police Centre or lodge an e-report at the Electronic Police Centre (www.police.gov.sg/epc/). For further enquiries, please contact Mr Chew Jingwei at 6557 3735 (DID) or e-mail chew_jingwei@spf.gov.sg

Advisory on Scam Targeting Law Practices - 14 October 2014

The Law Society has received information of a possible scam targeting law practices. Some members have reported that they received telephone calls from overseas, purportedly from a firm called 'Snowden Executive Search' trying to obtain personal information. It appears that Snowden Executive Search (or SnowdenExec) and the name Anne Brown have been reported in a number of countries as trying to obtain details from people by pretending to be recruiters.

It is likely the scam involves the psychological manipulation of people with the objective of getting them to disclose personal or confidential information. Such information may be used for criminal purposes, e.g. to infiltrate computer networks or to steal money from the individual concerned.

Members are advised to remain vigilant and avoid providing personal and/or confidential information to an unknown individual without stringent checks. Members who receive telephone calls of a similar nature may report the matter to the Commercial Affairs Department (Mr Chew Jingwei at 6557 3735 (DID) or e-mail chew_jingwei@spf.gov.sg.)

Advisory on Scam Targeting Law Firms – 17 June 2014

The Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office has received information of a possible syndicated scam targeting law firms. The scam begins with a person ('the suspect'), purportedly based overseas, engaging a law firm for certain matters (e.g. loan repayment, divorce, enforcement of Intellectual Property rights). The counter party will then contact the law firm, agree to settle the matter, and send a cheque/cashier’s order in excess of the amount owed to the law firm. The law firm is then instructed by the suspect to deduct the retainer from the amount received and send the balance to the suspect.

The scam lies in the law firm making an advance payment to the suspect before allowing the counter party’s cheque/cashier’s order to clear. The law firm would incur a loss subsequently when its cheque/cashier’s order clears and the counter party’s cheque/cashier’s order is dishonoured.

Law firms should remain vigilant and avoid making advance payments to potential clients without stringent checks.

To report an offence bearing the mentioned modus operandi, please contact Mr Chew Jingwei at 6557 3735 (DID) or e-mail chew_jingwei@spf.gov.sg.

New Scam Targeting Law Firms – 13 February 2013

Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (‘STRO’) has received information of a possible new scam targeting law firms. The scam usually begins with a person (‘suspect’), purportedly based overseas, contacting the law firm by e-mail, and engaging the firm to collect a loan repayment from a Singapore company. The said suspect then agrees to pay the law firm a retainer, and forwards a softcopy of the purported Loan Agreement.

A few days later, an official of the Singapore company e-mails the law firm, claiming that the suspect had contacted him. The official then agrees to repay the loan, and mails a cashier’s order (issued by a local bank) for the amount owed under the Loan Agreement to the law firm. After informing the suspect of the receipt of cashier’s order, the law firm is then instructed by the suspect to deduct the retainer from the amount received and send the balance to the suspect.

STRO has reason to believe that the Loan Agreement and cashier’s order received by the law firm are fictitious. The scam lies in the law firm paying the balance monies to the suspect before allowing the cashier’s order to clear. The law firm would incur a loss when its cheque to the suspect clears, and the cashier’s order is subsequently dishonoured.

Law firms may wish to be cautious in situations similar to the one highlighted above. Law firms may wish to consider making a report under section 39(1) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act if you come across the above scam or any other suspicious transactions*.

For clarification, please contact Ms Chua Jia Leng at 6557 3917 or e-mail stro@spf.gov.sg.

*Guidance on filing suspicious transaction reports (‘STR’) and the form used to report a STR is found at the Law Society’s Practice Direction 1 of 2008 (Prevention of Money Laundering and the Funding of Terrorist Activities). The completed STR can be sent via e-mail to stro@spf.gov.sg.

Scam E-mail Targeting Lawyers – 11 June 2012

The Law Society has been alerted about an e-mail scam targeting lawyers in Singapore. The e-mail is purportedly sent by one ‘Liudmila Yuldasheva’ seeking to retain the services of a lawyer in relation to the recovery of a sum of money under a Collaborative Law Agreement involving a divorce settlement.

Lawyers from other jurisdictions who have received similar e-mail scams have reportedly mentioned in online sources that the scam typically involves receipt of a cheque in settlement from the purported husband of 'Liudmila Yuldasheva’ which will in the usual course be deposited in the lawyer’s client account. After deducting legal fees, the lawyer sends the scammer the amount owing. The cheque will subsequently be found to bounce or turn out to be a fraudulent cheque.

Members who receive such an e-mail are advised to exercise due diligence.

Scam E-mail Targeting Lawyers – 7 February 2012

The Law Society has been alerted about an e-mail scam targeting lawyers in Singapore. The e-mail is purportedly sent by one ‘Kazuo Miyoko’ seeking to retain the services of a lawyer in relation to the recovery of a sum of money under a Collaborative Law Agreement involving a divorce settlement.

Lawyers from other jurisdictions who have received similar e-mail scams have reportedly mentioned in online sources that the scam typically involves receipt of a cheque in settlement from the purported husband of ‘Kazuo Miyoko’ which will in the usual course be deposited in the lawyer’s client account. After deducting legal fees, the lawyer sends the scammer the amount owing. The cheque will subsequently be found to bounce or is a fraudulent cheque. The scammers may even forward a copy of a stolen or forged passport with an apparently genuine picture of Kazuo Miyoko.

Members who receive such an e-mail are advised to exercise due diligence.