Please be aware of a widespread and elaborate fraudulent check scheme targeting law firms. While it has been around for several years, we have recently seen an increase in cases in which a fraudster impersonates a Swiss supplier claiming that Grainger owes it a substantial sum. The fraudster often contacts by email a small law firm specializing in debt collection or bankruptcy and attempts to engage the firm to represent it in its claim against Grainger. The claim is supported by realistic looking contracts and email exchanges with various members of Grainger’s senior management team. If the lawyer agrees to take the case, shortly thereafter he will receive a letter purportedly from Grainger’s CFO accompanied by a fraudulent cashier’s check in settlement of the claim. After the check is deposited into the lawyer’s client trust account but before it finally clears, the “client” asks that the funds, less a generous fee, be wired to a foreign account. Subsequently, the lawyer discovers the check is worthless, but the funds have been disbursed, and the lawyer may be out several hundred thousands of dollars.
Please contact Grainger’s law department at 847-535-0521 if you have been targeted by this scam. Grainger’s security department has been filing complaints with the Internet Crime Complaint Center ("13C") with respect to these types of matters. The 13C is affiliated with the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. You may file a report with the 13C at its website: www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.