Warning: Letters misusing the name of Walker Morris LLP
3 June 2020
Letters have been sent falsely claiming to be from "Walker Morris LLP", in relation to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
Members of the public have received letters from an individual falsely claiming to be a "Head of Dispute, Resolution and Probate at Walker Morris LLP". The letters relate to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance of an unknown individual. The last name of the deceased is tailored to match the last name of the recipient of the letters.
The letter provides a telephone contact number of "011 44 74044 53543", a fax number of "011 44 12 1368 2037" and email addresses of "firstname.lastname@example.org" and "email@example.com". A website address of www.walkermoriss.co.uk is also provided, although this website appears to be inactive.
The letter misuses the name and contact address for a genuine firm of solicitors, and misuses the name of a genuine solicitor (see below).
Any business or transactions through any of the contact details set out above are not undertaken by a firm or individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
Walker Morris LLP is a genuine firm of solicitors which is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The head office of the firm is at 33 Wellington Street Leeds LS1 4DL and the contact telephone number is 0113 283 2500. The firm’s genuine website address is "www.walkermorris.co.uk".
The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called John Hamer, who is a partner at Walker Morris LLP.
The genuine firm of Walker Morris LLP, and the genuine John Hamer, have confirmed to the SRA that they have no connection to the letters 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.