Warning: Emails from "J. Harold & Co. Solicitors"
6 June 2019
Emails have been sent claiming to be from "J. Harold & Co. Solicitors" in relation to a property transaction.
What is the scam?
Emails have been sent claiming to be from "J. Harold & Co. Solicitors", providing a link to supposed documentation for a property transaction.
The SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm of solicitors called "J. Harold & Co. Solicitors".
The email seen by the SRA is titled "Contract of Sale and Revised Memorandum". The email refers to a "Share-File Email Services" and provides a link to a supposed "Sales Memorandum and Amended Contract". A concern is that the link may contain malware.
The email seen by the SRA presents as if from "J. Harold & Co Solicitors" but appears as if it was sent from the email address "email@example.com" (see below in relation to a genuine firm).
Any business or transaction using the firm name "J. Harold & Co. Solicitors" is not undertaken by a solicitor’s practice or a firm or individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA does authorise and regulate a genuine firm called Lewis Rodgers Limited. The genuine firm has confirmed that it does have an email address of "firstname.lastname@example.org" but that it has no intended and genuine connection to the emails 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.