Warning: Emails falsely claiming to be from Harden & Co Solicitors
23 February 2018
Emails have been sent to law firms and members of the public claiming to be from "Harden & Co” in relation to a property sale.
What is the scam?
The SRA has received reports that emails have been sent claiming to be from a “Theresa” at the firm of “Harden & Co." The emails refer to a subject matter of “revised Sales Memorandum” and include attached contract documentation.
The email is not genuine and there is a concern that the attachment may contain harmful malware if opened.
A copy email seen by the SRA was sent from the email addresses of "C.email@example.com" and "C.firstname.lastname@example.org."
The email provides an address of "333-460 High Road, Ilford, Essex, 4G1TY 65TWA", a DX of "DX 5601 Ilford", telephone numbers of "0206 478 9098" and "07909673888" and a fax number of "0208 779 8000".
The SRA does not authorise and regulate a firm of solicitors called “Harden & Co Solicitors LLP”.
Any business or transactions through "Harden & Co Solicitors", the email addresses of "C.email@example.com" and "C.firstname.lastname@example.org," the postal address "333-460 High Road, Ilford, Essex, 4G1TY 65TWA", are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA has previously authorised and regulated a firm named Paul Harden & Co, which closed in 2015.
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.