Warning: Emails misusing the name of Penningtons Manches LLP
2 May 2019
Emails have been sent misusing the name Pennington’s Manches LLP, enclosing a supposed link to an encrypted message regarding a "Purchase Contract".
What is the scam?
The SRA has been informed that emails have been sent, particularly on 23 April 2019, from various "spoofed" legitimate email addresses of Pennington Manches LLP and at least one bogus email address of a "Bill Smith", purportedly from the genuine firm. The SRA understands that the emails were headed "Purchase Contract" and informed the recipients of a supposedly encrypted message for review. A copy email seen by the SRA appears as if sent from the email address "email@example.com" and is signed off by the "Processing Adminitrator team" (sic). A concern is that any such emails or links may contain malware.
Any business or transaction through the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org" is 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 authorises and regulates a genuine firm called Pennington Manches LLP whose head office is 125 Wood Street, London, EC2V 7AW.
The genuine firm has confirmed it has no genuine and intended connection to the above emails. The firm have also confirmed that it does not currently (and did not at the relevant time) employ a "Bill Smith" and does not have a "Processing Administrator Team"
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.