Warning: Emails misusing the name Rawlins Davy Limited
18 December 2019
An email has been sent to a client misusing the name and address of Rawlins Davy Solicitors and Mediators, and the name of one of its directors in relation to the completion of a property purchase.
What is the scam?
An email has been sent to a client misusing the name of a genuine firm of solicitors and one of its directors (see below), in relation to the completion of a property purchase.
The email seen by the SRA purports to have been sent from a director at the genuine firm of solicitors but was not from that individual but sent from a different e-mail address.
The email requests completion money be sent to a Lloyds Bank account and provides the account name "KB Brush Ltd". The email misuses the name, address, website and contact details of the genuine firm.
Separately, the genuine firm of solicitors has learned that the Outlook account of one of its secretaries may have been compromised and a "rule" created, resulting in received emails being forwarded to a different email address, namely "firstname.lastname@example.org." The genuine firm is not aware that any clients have been contacted by individuals intent on carrying out fraudulent activities, but is in the process of contacting those that could be affected.
Any business or transactions through the email address "email@example.com" are not undertaken by a solicitors' practice authorised and regulated by the SRA or by an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor by the name of Mr Neil John White, who is a director at Rawlins Davy Limited.
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine law firm called Rawlins Davy Limited, whose SRA ID is 486864. Its head office address is Heliting House, 35 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 6HT.
The genuine firm of Rawlins Davy Limited and the genuine Mr Neil John White have confirmed they are not connected to this matter.
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.