Warning: Email from "Mark Smith" purporting to be from "Smith Legal Group"
19 March 2020
An email has been sent from "Mark Smith" who purports to be from "Smith Legal Group" in relation to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance.
What is the scam?
The SRA has been informed that an email has been sent to a member of the public from an individual called "Mark Smith", in relation to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance of an unknown individual. "Mark Smith" claims to be a "Principal Partner" at a firm called "Smith Legal Group" and the name of the deceased is tailored to match the recipient of the email.
The email seen by the SRA appears to have been sent from "Smith Law" from the email address "email@example.com" and providing a mobile number of "+44 7451271146".
The recipient of the email was provided with various supposed identity documents, including a purported identity pass for "Smith Legal Group".
The email misuses the town, county and postcode of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
The SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm of solicitors called "Smith Legal Group" (or "Smith Law").
Any business or transactions through the contact details provided above are not undertaken by a solicitor’s practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a firm of solicitors called Paris Smith LLP. Its head office is based at 1 London Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 2AE. The telephone contact number is 023 8048 2482.
Paris Smith LLP has confirmed that it has no connection to the emails referred to in the above alert.
The SRA authorises and regulates several genuine solicitors called Mark Smith. None of the genuine solicitors are believed to be connected to 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.