Alerts

Warning: Emails falsely claiming to be from "Owen & Co Solicitors"

13 November 2017

Emails have been sent falsely claiming to be from Owen & Co. Solicitors, in relation to supposedly claiming an abandoned investment.

What is the scam?

Emails have been sent to members of the public, which falsely misuse the name and address of a genuine firm, and on some emails the name of a genuine solicitor (see below).

The emails seen by the SRA relate to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance from a deceased individual with an identical surname as the recipient of the email.

Both emails seen by the SRA misuse the name, postal address and website address of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).

The first email seen states it is from "Nick Hodges, LL.B(Hons), Senior Counsel" and was sent from the email address "nihodges@hotmail.com".

A second email seen by the SRA states it is from “David May, LL.B (Hons), Senior Counsel” and has been sent from the email address “davildmay@hotmail.com”. The SRA does not authorise or regulate a solicitor called “David May”.

Any business or transactions through the email addresses "nihodges@hotmail.com" and “davildmay@hotmail.com” are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA. 

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA does authorise and regulate a genuine solicitor called Nick Hodges, who is a partner in the genuine firm of Owen & Co Solicitors. The genuine firm’s head office is at 1 London Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1LY. Their genuine website address is www.owenandco.co.uk.

Both the genuine solicitor and the genuine firm have confirmed that they do not have any connection with the correspondence or email addresses referred to in the above alert.

The genuine firm have also issued an alert on their own website informing members of the public about the emails referred to above. 

The firm has posted a warning about hoax communications on its website.

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.