Warning: Emails claiming to be from "Mill-Reeve"
23 March 2018
Members of the public have been contacted via emails and social media by individuals purporting to be employees of “Mill-Reeve” and Mills & Reeve LLP.
What is the scam?
The SRA has been informed that members of the public have been contacted via emails and social media by individuals purporting to be employees of “Mill-Reeve” and Mills & Reeve LLP.
One email seen by the SRA purports to be from “Madhawa de Zoysa, Fin Director”, and asks the recipient of the email to provide “accurate details” of their bank account, and to fill in an attached form. This email was sent from the email address “email@example.com”.
A second email sent from the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” referred to an attached document and asked the recipient to “get back to me with evidence”.
Another member of the public has been contacted via social media by an individual purporting to be Tracey Baker, a legal secretary at a genuine firm of solicitors (see below). The member of the public was asked details about a family member.
In a separate incident, a member of the public received an email written in German purporting to be from Jens Henniker Heaton, but which was in fact sent from the email address email@example.com.
Any business or transactions by an individual named Madhawa de Zoysa through the email addresses “firstname.lastname@example.org” are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
Mills & Reeve LLP is a genuine law firm which is authorised and regulated by the SRA.
The SRA does regulate a genuine solicitor by the name Jens Henniker Heaton who is solicitor at the genuine law firm of Mills & Reeve LLP.
Tracey Baker is a previous employee of the genuine law firm Mills & Reeve LLP.
The genuine law firm and genuine solicitor 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.