Alerts

Warning: Emails misusing the name of an employee of Punch Robson Solicitors

6 August 2020

Emails have been sent misusing the name of an employee of Punch Robson Solicitors, supposedly sending a link to an encrypted message.

What is the scam?

We understand that emails have been sent purporting to have been sent from Alison Vines, an employee of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).

The email screenshot seen by the SRA is headed “Draft Contract Documents” and invites the recipient to click on a link to view an encrypted message.  A concern is that the link may contain malware.

We have been informed that the emails were sent from email addresses using the domains: “@punchrobson.com” and “@puchrobson.law”.

Any business or transaction through email addresses using the above domain names are not undertaken by a solicitor’s practice or individual authorised or regulated by the SRA (see below for similar domain names used by the genuine firm).

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called Punch Robson (trading as Punch Robson Solicitors), whose genuine website address is:  “www.punchrobson.co.uk”. 

The genuine firm has an employee named Alison Vines, whose genuine email address is “avines@punchrobson.law.   Genuine staff of the firm do use emails with the domain name “@punchrobson.law”

Both the genuine firm Punch Robson and the genuine Alison Vines have confirmed they have no 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.