Warning: Emails misusing the names of Ian Lane and Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
17 June 2020
Emails have been sent falsely claiming to be from Ian Lane of Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors, in relation to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
Members of the public have received emails from an individual falsely claiming to be "Ian Lane" of "Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors". The emails relate to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance of an unknown individual. The last name of the purportedly deceased client is tailored to match the last name of the recipients of the emails.
The emails seen by the SRA were sent using various emails addresses: "firstname.lastname@example.org", "email@example.com" and "firstname.lastname@example.org".
The emails misuse the name and photograph of a genuine solicitor, and some of the emails misuse the name of a genuine firm (see below).
Any business or transactions through any of the email addresses set out above are not undertaken by a firm or individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Ian Lane, who is a partner in the genuine firm of Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors Limited (which trades as Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors), which is also authorised and regulated by the SRA.
The genuine firm and the genuine Ian Lane have confirmed to the SRA that 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.