Warning: Emails misusing the name of Hine Downing Solicitors
31 January 2018
Emails have been sent which falsely claim to be from Hine Downing Solicitors.
What is the scam?
Emails have been sent from the email address "Maryanne.Thomkinson@hinedowning.com", which falsely claim to be sent from a genuine firm (see below).
The email (not seen by the SRA) claims in the subject header to relate to an "Unpaid Invoice" and invites the recipient to view an attachment. A concern is that the attachment may contain malware if opened.
Any business or transactions through the email above are not undertaken by a firm or solicitor authorised or regulated by the SRA.
Update 3/9/2018 12:00:00 AM
Further emails have been sent which falsely claim to be from Hine Downing Solicitors.
The SRA has been informed that further similar emails have been sent from the addresses "Alba.Meade@hinedowning.com", "Amy.Grindrod@hinedowning.com", "Jerold.McVittie@hinedowning.com" and "email@example.com" (the last one appearing as if sent from "Clyde Poulter").
In one email seen by the SRA the subject header relates to "Invoice No 39078445" and refers to an attached invoice. A concern is that the attachment may contain malware if opened.
The genuine firm have confirmed that they do not employ any persons by the name of Alba Meade, Amy Grindrod, Jerold McVittie and Clyde Poulter.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
Hine Downing Solicitors (a trading name of Hine Downing LLP) is a genuine firm that is authorised and regulated by the SRA.
The genuine firm sends emails using email addresses that end "@hinedowning.com".
The genuine firm has confirmed to the SRA that they have no genuine connection with the email referred to in the above alert and do not employ anybody by the name of "Maryanne Thomkinson".
The SRA does not regulate any individual by the name of "Maryanne Thomkinson".
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.
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