Scam Alert Round up 23rd May

Scam Alert Round up 23rd May

Here are the latest scam alerts issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Fraudulent documents using the name “Williams Morgan”

The SRA have been shown a copy of a document received by a memeber of the public which claim to have been witnessed by “Williams Morgan” concerning a transfer of money. The documents, a Will and a Power of Attorney claim to give the recipients the authprity to receive a large sum of money.

The supposed witness, “Barrister Williams Morgan”, “Williams Morgan”, “Lawyer” of 30 Finsbury Circus, London, EC2M 7DT is not regulated by the SRA . The address is that of Devonshires Solicitors LLP who say they do not employ anyone by that name.

Emails misusing the name of Greenberg Traurig Maher

Accounts departments at several companies in America have reported receiving emails claiming to be from Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP. The emails claim to be from the company’s CEO and request payment to a bank in Hong Kong relating to a business transaction.

The emails come from [email protected] and give a telephone number +44 20 3514 4694, fax +44 20 3318 5340 and the address 200 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8HF.

Andrew Caunt is a genuine solicitor at the genuine firm Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP who are based at 200 Gray’s Inn Road, but neither party say they are connected with these emails.

Misuse of the Andrew Brook Solicitors SRA number

A member of the public has reported receiving an email from a supposed solicitor at “Funnis & Co” containing contract documents for the recipient’s attention.

The emails from “[email protected]” include telephone numbers 01628 675 777 and 0161 200 1700, fax 41628 638 666 and address 15 York Road, Liverpool, SL6 1SW.

The emails also use the SRA number of genuine firm Andrew Brook Solicitors, who say they are not connected with these emails. Funnis & Co are not a genuine firm nor are the contact details connected with any genuine SRA regulated firm either.

Emails misuing the names of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Benjamin Lee

The SRA say they have received emails claiming to be from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Benjamin Lee. The emails claim to come from a Senior manager or Chief Executive to an internatl employee. They instruc said employee to contact a “Lawyer, Benjamin Lee” and may be required to provide documents and funds, and that the matter should remain private.

Followup emails incude details for Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP who say they are unconnected with this attempted fraud. The SRA says that fraudulent emails may have been sent from the following email addresses: [email protected]; and [email protected]

The SRA say they authorise and regulate several genuine solicitors named Benjamin Lee, including one who is a partner at the genuine firm of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, who are also authorised and regulated by the SRA. However neither party say they are connected with these emails.

What to do

The SRA say when a firm’s or individual’s identity has been copied exactly (or cloned), due diligence is necessary. If you receive correspondence claiming to be from the above firm(s) or individual(s), or information of a similar nature to that described, you should conduct your own due diligence by checking the authenticity of the correspondence by contacting the law firm directly by reliable and established means.

You can contact the SRA to find out if individuals or firms are regulated and authorised by the SRA and verify an individual’s or firm’s practising details. Other verification methods, such as checking public records (e.g. telephone directories and company records) may be required in other circumstances.

Josh Morris

Josh is the Journalist for the Today's Group and writes many of the articles for Today's Conveyancer. He graduated with a degree in Physics from Cardiff University in 2009 before training as a journalist.
He has previously written for The Times, The Mirror and The Daily Express.

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