Scam Alert Round up 25th April

Scam Alert Round up 25th April

Here are the latest scam alerts issued by the SRA

Letters from “Allan Rodriguez” of “Berwin Leighton Paisner Law Partners”

A member of the public has reported receiving a letter claiming to be from an “Allan Rodriguez” of “Berwin Leighton Paisner Law Partners”

The SRA has also reported emails from a “Karen G” using the address “[email protected]” working at “Chris-Weir Promotion” being sent in tandem, inviting the recipient to contact a “Barrister Allan Rodriguez LL.B (Lon) B.L”

The letter invites the recipient to compete a paymebnt processing form for a grant or prize of of 2,5000,000 million dollars from a charitable trust. The letter includes telephone number: +44 740 530 4406, fax: +44 2030 3110097 and email: “[email protected]

The SRA does not authorise and regulate a firm of solicitors called “Berwin Leighton Paisner Law Partners” or an individual by the name of “Allan Rodriguez.” Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is a genuine firm but they do not employ any individual named Allan Rodriguez.

Emails claiming to be from a CLL Solicitors.

Members of the public have reported receiving emails from a “Jade Saward” of “CLL Solicitors” relating to a conveyancing transaction and asking for funds to be put intoa holding account. The email come from “[email protected]” and include bank details as well as an address of 17-21 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire.

The SRA do not regulate any such firm. The address is that of a genuine firm, Parfitt Cresswell, who do employ a Jade Saward, but neither say they are connected with these emails.

Emails claiming to be from Edwards Hands & Lewis Solicitors (“EHL”)

Clients of a genuine firm, EHL, have been sent emails misusing the genuine firm’s name, that of Dynes Solicitors and another firm, “VIP Solicitors”.

The emails appear to be sent by a member of staff at EHL but come from “[email protected]” and “[email protected]” The emails provide false account details and a request to contact VIP Solicitors with details for payment and a request for money as part of a conveyancing transaction.

While EHL and Dynes Solicitors are genuine firms, and Maria Moule a genuine employee at EHL (although not regulated by the SRA), VIP Solicitors are not. “[email protected]” is also not an email address used by a genuine employee.

Correspondence claiming to be from “The Thomas Higgins Partnership”.

The SRA has reported that a firm has been contacted by an apparently aggreived member of the public in relation to correspondence claiming to be from The Thomas Higgins Partnership. It apprently relates to an unclaimed inheritance and invites the recipient to pay a small sum in order to release funds.

It appears to be sent by a “Barrister Thomas Higgins”. While The Thomas Higgins Partnership is a genuine firm based in Wallassey, Cheshire and Thomas Higgins is a genuine solicitor, he is not a barrister. Neither the solicitor nor his firm say they have anything to do with this correspondence.

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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