New Zealand Law Society

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Warning over bogus Mainfreight barge purchase

29 January 2016

New Zealand lawyers have been targeted by emails from fraudsters falsely claiming to be working for the New Zealand company Mainfreight in a purchase for a 300-tonne stiff leg derrick barge.

The fraud has absolutely no connection to the genuine Mainfreight and is another example of foreign fraudsters targeting lawyers.

While the fraud uses a genuine New Zealand company name and the names of  people who work for it,  it follows the old formula of sending the lawyer a cheque (or "check" as the fraudsters state) as a deposit for the fake barge purchase. The intention is that the lawyer deposits the forged cheque in their trust account and then remits it to the fake seller (Fraser River Pile & Dredge (GP) Inc).

The New Zealand Law Society says that one sign that the emails are fake is the use of gmail and Outlook email addresses.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019