Warning: Emails from "Oaks Chambers" misusing the address of Watson Farley & Williams LLP
5 July 2019
Emails misusing the address of Watson Farley & Williams LLP have been sent, regarding a supposedly unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
A member of the public has received an email regarding a supposedly unclaimed inheritance, which falsely provides and misuses the address of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
The email claims to relate to the estate of a deceased client who mentions the recipient in the will.
The email appears as if it is sent from "Oaks Chambers" and comes from the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org". The email is signed off by "Williams Morgan", who is described as the "Head of Housing and Commercial Property".
The SRA does not authorise or regulate a solicitor called "Williams Morgan". The SRA also does not authorise or regulate a firm of solicitors called "Deans Law Firm" or "Oaks Chambers". Any business or transactions through such an email or the email address "email@example.com" are not undertaken by a solicitor or firm authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called Watson Farley & Williams LLP, whose head office is at 15 Appold Street, London, EC2A 2HB.
The genuine firm has confirmed that it does not have any connection with the scam email referred to in the above alert.
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.