Alerts

Warning: Emails falsely claiming to be from Harrowell and Atkins Solicitors

10 August 2017

An email has been sent claiming to be from "Michael Avern" of "Harrowell and Atkins Solicitors" referring to a "Sales Memorandum".

What is the scam?

The SRA has received a report that an email has been sent claiming to be from "Michael Avern" of "Harrowell and Atkins Solicitors" referring to a "Sales Memorandum".

The email appears to relate to a property conveyance for 13 Wincose Terrace and attach what is said to be a "Memorandum of Sale". The email is not genuine and there is concern that the attachment may contain harmful malware if opened.

The email seen by the SRA was sent from the email address: "michael.avern@harrowel-atkns.co.uk". The email also contains the genuine address for the genuine phone (see below).

Any business or transactions conducted through "michael.avern@harrowel-atkns.co.uk" are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

Harrowell and Akins are a genuine firm which is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The genuine firm's address is: Boxwell House, 275 High Street, Berkhamstead, HP4 1BW.

The SRA does authorise and regulate Michael Avern, a genuine solicitor at Harrowell and Akins who has confirmed that he has no connection to the email 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.