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FRAUD ALERT: Large Construction Machine Purchase/Transaction Scam

Requests for representation in a large construction machine purchases/transactions are a type of scam attempt that has been circulating for some time, with scammers using actual names and details to masquerade as legitimate companies. We have issued numerous alerts to that effect in the past – a few examples here:

These types of scam attempts are extremely common, and will send out thousands of versions of their email using hundreds of registered company names and active lawyer or broker names (pulled from online directories) to give an air of legitimacy. Although the details may reflect a legitimate company, the cheque ultimately sent to the lawyer will be bogus in the hopes that neither the lawyer nor their financial institution will be vigilant and perform the proper verification processes before the trust account is debited.

If you receive an email request similar to those outlined above, you may choose to simply dismiss and delete this email as a scam attempt, and cease all communications.

Remember that if you decide to proceed in any matter, you must always confirm a prospective client’s identification in accordance with the Client ID Regulations of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. Perform all searches as thoroughly as possible, be vigilant and take your time – and beware of any aggressive urgency on behalf of the other parties to complete the transaction. Be cautious with all cheques received, especially if they exceed an agreed upon amount. 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 Bank of Canada’s Lynx system (formerly the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS)), an electronic funds transfer system that allows large payments to be exchanged securely and immediately.

Finally, remember that links and attachments in unsolicited or unanticipated emails should also not be accessed unless the sender can be positively verified, as they may contain viruses. If a bogus attachment is opened and the user does not have anti-virus software or firewall programs on their computer, their system could be infected.

For tips to avoid being victimized, and to report or seek advice on dealing with fraud and scam attempts, contact Cynthia Nield at or 902 423 1300, x346.