Warning: Correspondence from "Forsters Solicitors"
29 November 2019
Correspondence from "Dominic Lintner" of "Forsters Solicitors" regarding an unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
The SRA has seen correspondence from "Dominic Lintner" of "Forsters Solicitors" in relation to a purported unclaimed inheritance.
The correspondence was sent to a person in China, in respect of instructions to provide him with a "full range of legal services". Correspondence from "Dominic Lintner", via Skype, has also been seen, relating to his handling of the inheritance case of the person's deceased brother. The individual was advised that, after paying "inheritance supervision fees," he would inherit "the huge pension assets of his deceased brother at Yorkshire Bank".
In addition, correspondence was also provided to the person, including a death certificate, police report, affidavit of truth and claims, HMRC TAX invoice and emails from Yorkshire Bank.
Update – 18 December 2019
The SRA has been advised of a further individual that has been the target of fraudulent emails, purportedly from Mr Dominic Lintner. The SRA believes this individual may also be based in China and the fraudulent correspondence to them is of a similar nature to the original alert.
It has transpired that a fraudulent domain "forsters.org" was registered in June 2019 and was used to create the fraudulent email address "firstname.lastname@example.org". The genuine firm has informed the SRA that it has taken steps to terminate the fraudulent use of the domain and email address
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor by the name of Mr Dominic Lintner. Mr Lintner is an assistant solicitor at Forsters LLP.
The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine law firm called Forsters LLP, whose head office address is 31 Hill Street, London, W1J 5LS.
The genuine firm of Forsters LLP and the genuine Dominic Lintner have confirmed they are not connected to this matter.
The SRA believes that all correspondence in relation to this matter is fraudulent and that it was not produced by the individuals or companies purportedly involved.
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.