Warning: Letter from "Anthony Brown Law Firm" regarding a possible inheritance
3 May 2019
A letter has been sent from "Anthony Brown Law Firm", regarding a supposed inheritance deposited in a "Trunk Box of Personal Treasure".
What is the scam?
A letter has been sent from "Anthony Brown Law Firm", regarding a supposed inheritance.
The letter seen by the SRA informs the recipient their details were received from "the American public record while searching for a last name similar to my late client’s". It goes on to inform the recipient that the supposed late client "deposited one trunk box of personal treasure, containing the sum of US $9,750,000.00 (Nine million, seven hundred and fifty thousand united states dollars only)". The letter encourages the recipient to "stand as the next of kin" although they "may not be anyway related to my late client".
The letter informs the recipient to email "firstname.lastname@example.org" to indicate their interest and is signed off by "Anthony Brown". The letter also misuses the postal address of a genuine law firm (see below), provides the contact number "011 44 (744) 093 4046", a fax number of "01144 (208) 711 3304 and the email address "email@example.com".
The SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm called "Anthony Brown Law Firm". Any business or transactions through "Anthony Brown Law Firm" or the email addresses and contact numbers set out 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?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm called Thomas Lindsey Brown & Co Ltd, whose registered address is Gordon House, 819-821 Southchurch Road, Southend on Sea, Essex, SS1 2PP. The firm’s genuine telephone number is 01702 466266.
The genuine firm of Thomas Lindsey Brown & Co Ltd have confirmed they have no connection to the letter referred to in the above alert.
The SRA does authorise and regulate a number of genuine individual solicitors called Anthony Brown, none of whom are believed to have any connection to the document 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.