Warning: Emails from "Bastows Solicitors", which may contain or link to malware
23 December 2019
Emails have been sent claiming to be from "Bastows Solicitors", which may contain or link to malware if opened.
What is the scam?
Emails have been sent to other firms of solicitors, claiming to be from "Bastows Solicitors" in relation to a supposed property transaction.
The subject heading of the emails seen by the SRA is "Notice for Exchange/Completion". The emails appear to be sent from "LawConnect" from an email showing as "Bastows Solicitors" using an address "firstname.lastname@example.org" and requests the recipient to "save then open the attachment and follow the instructions to continue" to supposedly view the secured message.
A concern is that the attachment may contain malware if opened.
The email misuses the name of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
Any business or transactions through the email "email@example.com" are not undertaken by an individual 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 Bastows Divorce Solicitors Ltd. Its genuine email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The genuine Bastows Divorce Solicitors Ltd has confirmed to the SRA that it has no connection to the 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.