Alerts

Warning: Correspondence misusing the name and business address of Michael S. Goetz

Emails have been sent, regarding recovering money lost in an investment, that falsely claim to be from “Michael S. Goetz”.

What is the scam?

The SRA has received a report that emails, relating to supposedly recovering money lost in a previous investment scheme, have been sent to a member of the public. The emails falsely claim to be from a lawyer called Michael S. Goetz.

The emails and documents seen by the SRA include an agreement document sent to the recipient entitled “Money Recovery From Fraud”, and refer to trying to recover money that the recipient had lost in a previous investment. The SRA understands that the sender asked the recipient to send €20,000, as part of the process of supposedly recovering the previously lost money.

The emails and documents appear to be sent by a ”Michael S. Goetz”, and misuse the name, picture and business address of a genuine lawyer based in London (see below).

The SRA understands the emails have been sent from email addresses including: “michaelgoetzlawyer@digitalesbusiness.info”, “michaelgoetz@englandmail.com” and “leonedivaio@mail.com”, and some contain a contact telephone number of +442030517763.

Any business or transactions in the terms set out above and claiming to be from “Michael S. Goetz”, or through the email addresses or telephone number above, 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 lawyer called Michael Steven Goetz, who is authorised in England and Wales as a Registered Foreign Lawyer (being a US Attorney).

he genuine Michael Steven Goetz is a partner in the genuine authorised firm of Ropes & Gray International LLP and works at their London office, which is at 60 Ludgate Hill, London, EC4M 7AW. The genuine firm has a contact telephone number of 020 3122 1100.

The genuine firm have confirmed that neither the firm or the genuine Michael Steven Goetz has any connection with 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.

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