Warning: Correspondence and website misusing the details of Royds Withy King
28 March 2018
Faxed letters have been sent, and a website is operating, misusing the details of Royds Withy King.
What is the scam?
The SRA has received information that several members of the public have received letters sent by fax, falsely claiming to be from "Edward Simon Bassett B.A. (Distinction) J.D." of the firm “Royds Partners LLP”. The letters relate to an unclaimed inheritance of an individual with the same surname as the recipient.
A letter seen by the SRA gives an email addresses of “email@example.com” and “firstname.lastname@example.org”. It also gives a telephone number of “011 44 744 090 7968”.
The correspondence also misuses the name and address of a genuine London office address of the genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
The letter also gives a website address of “www.roydspllp.com”. This website address is a link to a website cloned from the website of another genuine firm of solicitors and misuses the names of several genuine solicitors (see below).
Any business or transactions conducted through the email addresses, telephone number and website above are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
Withy King LLP (trading as Royds Withy King) is a genuine firm which is authorised and regulated by the SRA.
The genuine firm has a genuine London office address at 69 Carter Lane, London, EC4V 5EQ. The genuine firm's telephone number is 0800 151 2044. The firm's genuine email address ends in the suffix of "@roydswithyking.com" and its genuine website address is www.roydswithyking.com.
Simon Bassett is a genuine solicitor and Partner of the genuine firm Royds Withy King.
The website referred to in the scam alert above gives the name of a number of genuine solicitors who are employed at Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP, a genuine firm which is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The genuine firm’s genuine website is www.vwv.co.uk.
The genuine firms and genuine solicitors have confirmed that they have no connection to the letters or website 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.