Emails falsely claiming to be from Wakefield Law Solicitors
19 April 2017
Emails have been sent to law firms in relation to a property transaction which falsely claim to be from "Andrew H. Lane" of Wakefield Law Solicitors.
What is the scam?
The SRA has been informed that law firms have received emails sent in the name of "Andrew H. Lane", from Wakefield Law Solicitors. The content of the emails relates to the sale of "6 Huntingdon Close, Bevendon" and the email refers to an attached document entitled "memorandum of sale". The concern is that the attachment may contain malware if opened.
The emails seen by the SRA appear to have been sent from "Andrew Lane" of "Wakefield Law Solicitors", but have actually been sent from the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Any business or transactions through the email address "email@example.com" are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.
The emails contain a footer which include the genuine address and genuine SRA number of a genuine firm (see below). The email also provides the telephone number 01924 201547.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
Wakefield Law is a genuine firm which is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The genuine firm uses a trading name of Wakefield Law Solicitors. The address for the genuine Wakefield Law is Thornhill House, Thornhill Street, Wakefield, WF1 1NL. The telephone number for the genuine firm is 01924 201444 and its genuine SRA number is 607339.
The SRA does authorise and regulate several solicitors named Andrew Lane, including a Solicitor at the genuine firm.
Both the genuine firm and genuine solicitor named Andrew Lane, who is employed at the genuine firm, have both confirmed that they have no connection to the emails referred to above.
It is also understood that the other genuine solicitors named Andrew Lane have no connection to the emails referred to above.
What should I do?
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.