Warning: Email and website misusing the name of ABK Solicitors and Barkat Khan
31 May 2019
An email has been sent and a website set up misusing the name of ABK Solicitors and Barkat Khan.
What is the scam?
An email has been sent and a website set up misusing the name of a genuine firm (see below) and a genuine solicitor (see below).
The email seen by the SRA claims to be from a genuine firm which represents an investment company with whom the receiving party has business dealings. The email attaches a loan contract agreement and requests the receiving individual to sign the document and pay $1500 in order to prepare for execution.
The email signs off using the name of a genuine solicitor (see below) and provides the email addresses "firstname.lastname@example.org" and "email@example.com". The email also provides the telephone numbers "+447451240662" and "0844 588 2052" and provides the address of a genuine firm (see below).
The email also copies in the email addresses "firstname.lastname@example.org" and "email@example.com".
Emails were sent from "firstname.lastname@example.org" to the receiving individual claiming that the genuine solicitor was his attorney.
A website has also been set up misusing the name of a genuine firm (see below). This website can be found here: https://www.abksolicitorsltd.com/.
The website provides the contact details listed above and the SRA ID of a genuine firm. The website also lists numerous "solicitors" in the "Attorneys" section of the website, some of whom are genuine (see below). The website lists Clara Browne as a partner, Debbie Larsen as associate and Barry Miles as associate.
The SRA does not authorise or regulate any solicitors with the names Clara Browne, Debbie Larsen and Barry Miles.
Any business or transactions using the names, email addresses, telephone numbers and website mentioned above are not undertaken by an authorised solicitors’ practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm with the name ABK Solicitors Limited whose genuine SRA ID is 652687, genuine address is Continental House, 497 Sunleigh Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA0 4LY, genuine email address is email@example.com and genuine telephone number is 0207 9988 210.
The SRA also authorises and regulates an individual with the name Barkat Khan who is the sole director at ABK Solicitors Limited. Barkat Khan's genuine email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The genuine firm and Barkat Khan have confirmed that they have no connection to the emails or website referred to in the above alert and that a website does not yet exist for the firm.
The website mentioned in the above alert also provides the name of Richard Smith. The SRA authorises and regulates a number of individuals by the name of Richard Smith, none of whom are believed to be connected to the emails or website 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.