Warning: Email misusing the name and details of Easthams Solicitors Limited
29 November 2019
Emails have been sent misusing the name of Philip Baker of Easthams Solicitors Limited, in relation to a property transaction.
What is the scam?
Emails have been sent falsely claiming to be from Philip Baker of Easthams Solicitors Limited. The false emails seen by SRA were sent from the bogus email address of "PhilipB@eastham.co.uk" (with no "s" at the end of the firm’s name in the domain name – see below in relation to emails from the genuine firm).
The false emails seen by the SRA initially ask the recipient if deposit monies were available for transfer into the senders "Exchange Trust" in readiness for an exchange of contract, before a further email provides supposed bank account details. The emails misuse the contact details of a genuine firm (see below)
Any business of transactions using the email address "PhilipB@eastham.co.uk" (or any account using the domain "@eastham.co.uk") are not undertaken by a firm of solicitors or by an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA (see below in relation to the genuine firm).
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA does authorise and regulate a solicitors firm called Easthams Solicitors Limited, of Continental House, 292-302 Church Street, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 3QA. The genuine fax number for the firm is 0844 855 4405 and the website address is www.easthams.co.uk. The genuine email domain for emails from the firm is '@easthams.co.uk'.
The genuine firm have informed the SRA that Philip Baker is a Licensed Conveyancer and Probate practitioner employed by them, with the genuine email address of "PhilipB@easthams.co.uk". The firm have confirmed that neither Mr Baker nor the firm are genuinely connected with the emails 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.