Warning: Emails misusing the names of Greg Baker and Hegarty Solicitors
31 July 2020
Emails have been sent falsely claiming to be from Greg Baker at Hegarty Solicitors, in relation to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
Members of the public have been contacted by an individual falsely claiming to be "Greg Baker" of Hegarty Solicitors (see below in relation to a genuine solicitor / firm)
The emails seen by the SRA suggest that the recipient is supposedly to apply for the release of a large amount of money from a bank account. The bank account is claimed to be in the name of a deceased individual with the same surname as the recipient.
The emails were sent from the email address "email@example.com" and misuse the name of a genuine solicitor and firm (see below).
Any business or transaction through the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org" is not undertaken by an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Gregory Richard Baker (known as Greg Baker), who is a partner in the genuine firm of Hegarty LLP (which trades as Hegarty Solicitors), which is also authorised and regulated by the SRA.
The correct email address for the genuine solicitor above is email@example.com.
The genuine firm and the genuine Gregory Richard Baker have confirmed that they have no connection to the emails referred to in the above alert.
The SRA does authorise and regulate another genuine solicitor called Gregory Baker, who works for a different genuine firm and is not believed to have any 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.