In January we published “A New Year and A New Fake Law Firm”, AB Abogados, this highlighted the use of a genuine law firm’s logo and website. Even directing “victims” to the original website for credibility. Today we bring you more on the case we highlighted and if it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable.
In the initial letter which was published and can be viewed again in PDF format below, they explain the case and who is involved, there is a lot of information on seizing assets of individuals involved. They even give a time and date of the hearing at Barcelona Court of First Instance Number 6 on 11 January 2022 at 12:20.
In the next letter dated 12 January, the “clients” received the great news that their case on the 11 January, (the day before) had been successful. The claim made on their behalf was for 27,833€, with “damages & interest” the total amount awarded is 29,307€.
The letter then goes on to explain about the “official judgment” and “final documentation” for the “TAX” evaluation from the “Court Procurator”. But it is the third paragraph which is very interesting, it states:
“The compensation funds from the Barcelona Courts are remitted directly to the claimant either by International bank transfer or issued in cheque form. That being subject to the amount of claims the Courts handled that very week. Either way, please forward your designated U.K bank details for our lawyers to relay to the Court Funds Office.”
As we would have expected, they say the funds from the court are paid directly to the claimant, this is done by “International Bank Transfer” or in the form of a “Cheque”. But it is the next sentence that we find puzzling, the method of payment is subject to “the amount of claims” they have handled that week.
Why would the number of claims have any bearing on whether they pay by bank transfer or decide to issue a cheque?
Must admit we have never heard that one before.
Obviously, within this paragraph is the “plea” for the “client” to send their bank details, then it goes on to spout about how they will “collate & retain” any information according to Spanish Law and EU Directives.
Moving on, we now have a copy of the “Courts Sentence”, a copy of a cheque made out to the client and the details for the bank transfer.
First, we have a look at the court document, which is obviously fake, it is an exact copy of the ones that have been used in the past by all the “fake law” firms known as “The Litigious Abogados Family”.
As we would expect it gives the court and case details, it shows the amount awarded but most importantly it shows a date for the case being heard.
This is very different, in the previous letters the case was scheduled for 11 January 2022 and the second letter confirmed the trial had been on that date, yet the court document shows the date as being heard on 1 December 2021.
So which is it, January or December?
Needless to say, the client refused to pay the demanded 6,154.47€ in respect of “TAX”.
This obviously did not go down well with AB Abogados as their next letter will show, apparently it “very much disappoints us” that the “client” doesn’t trust them. Going on to explain they are sorry for any “bad experiences” they had in the past, then once again go on to impress how “legitimate” they are.
It is the last paragraphs that show desperation and the attempt to salvage some kind of legitimacy, by informing the clients about an “urgent” meeting with the “partners” on their case. They explain they sometimes take on “Pro Bono work” and because there is a lot of money at stake, (yes, their’s), they will “PAY the TAX” and add that to the final amount of their “20% commission” once the client has received the “compensation”.
Now I know what you are thinking, how can this be a “scam” if they will “pay the tax” as a “goodwill” gesture?
It is all about building credibility, the next move is bound to be some other payment to “release” the money, more than likely a problem of transferring to the UK blaming “Brexit” regulations. No doubt yet another “Court Appointed” law firm will be making contact as a last-ditch effort to get your money.
We now move to the “Fake Compensation Cheque” and the details of the account to pay the “TAX”.
The cheque below is identical to the previous ones we have seen with the other incarnations of “fake” law firms. This is a copy of the cheque waiting to be sent to the “lucky” client by the court. As you can see from our IBAN check, it doesn’t exist.
The Escrow account however is a genuine account, but the address given for the beneficiary named as Aden Alvarez Alvaro, does not appear on any search of the internet or maps. So we should also assume that the name is also a “fake”.
This does now make us ask the question: how do these people open up bank accounts considering the identity checks that should be made?
Are they using false passports and identity documents?
Do the banks actually do checks on these documents?
These are all questions that deserve answers, after all, if you happen to pay them and get scammed, what will your bank tell you so they don’t have to pay back?
Again information on this particular scam has been shared between AIT and the TCA, who will also be publishing their investigation, which will be worth looking at.
These “fraudsters” are using every trick in the book to get your money, it is up to you to check and double-check anything you are told, especially when being contacted by cold call, unsolicited email and text messages.
Do your homework, make sure you get all the contact details down and then make your preliminary checks on the internet. Still not sure if it is genuine or not, then use our contact page with the details for us to check and remember, it is through your information that warnings can be given to others.