Alerts

Warning: Emails misusing the name and details of Brain Chase Coles Solicitors

27 November 2019

Emails providing alternative bank payment details, misusing the name of Brain Chase Coles and Debbie Brown and Teresa Smith of that firm.

What is the scam?

Emails have been sent in October and early November 2019, misusing the name and contact details of Brain Chase Coles and two of their genuine employees (see below in relation to genuine details). The emails provided alternative bank payment details in relation to the completion of separate property purchases.

The emails seen by the SRA show clients of the genuine firm receiving emails purportedly from the genuine firm's Debbie Brown, Conveyancer, and her secretary, Teresa Smith. These emails requested deposit money in respect of property purchases be paid into bank accounts which were not those of the genuine firm of solicitors.

The most recent bogus emails seen by the SRA, from early November 2019, were sent to clients from the following addresses:

  • dbrownbrainchasecole@mail.co.uk
  • teresabrainchasecoles@mail.co.uk

Any business of transactions using the email addresses above are not undertaken by a firm of solicitors or by an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm called Brain Chase Coles. Its head office is at Haymarket House, 20-24 Wote Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7NL.

The genuine firm of Brain Chase Coles has a genuine employed conveyancer called Debbie Brown, whose genuine email address is dbrown@brainchasecoles.co.uk. The firm also has a genuine secretary called Teresa Smith, whose genuine email address is Teresa@brainchasecoles.co.uk.

The genuine firm has confirmed that neither the firm or its staff have any genuine and intended connection to 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.