Warning: Emails misusing the details of Clyde & Co LLP
1 February 2018
Emails misusing the details of Clyde & Co LLP have been sent to members of the public regarding an unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
The SRA has received a report that members of the public have received emails regarding an unclaimed inheritance which falsely claims to be from Austin Barham of Clyde & Co LLP.
The emails relate to unclaimed financial investments held by a former client, who had a similar surname to the recipient of the email. The recipient of the email is asked to contact "Austin Barham" to release the assets, estimated at £6.8 million.
The emails seen by the SRA were sent from several different false email addresses including, but not limited to, the following: ausbarham@email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of the emails provide a contact telephone number of "+44-702 404 5005" and the postal address of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
Any business or transactions through the email addresses of "ausbarham@email@example.com", "firstname.lastname@example.org", "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org", or the telephone number "+44 702 404 5005" 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 Austin Barham who is a solicitor at the genuine firm of Clyde and Co LLP.
The genuine firm of Clyde and Co LLP has its genuine head office address at The St Botolph Building, 138 Houndsditch, London. EC3A 7AR. Its genuine telephone number is 020 7876 5000.
Both the genuine firm of Clyde and Co and the genuine individual Austin Barham have confirmed that they 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.