Warning: Emails misusing the name of Wilsons Solicitors (UK) Limited
23 November 2020
Emails have been sent falsely claiming to be from "Paul Kelly" of Wilsons Solicitors (UK) Limited, in relation to a supposed property purchase.
What is the scam?
Emails have been sent to several firms of solicitors from an individual using the name "Paul Kelly", who is falsely claiming to be linked to Wilson Solicitors (UK) Limited (see below for genuine firm details).
The emails seen by the SRA were sent from the email address "email@example.com". They are supposedly seeking conveyancing services and typically request that the recipient open an attachment titled "Property & Mortgage Information". One concern is the link may contain malware.
Within the footer of the emails, they misuse the name and SRA identification number of the genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
Any business or transaction through the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org" is not undertaken by a firm or individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
Wilsons Solicitors (UK) Limited, which trades as Wilsons Solicitors, is a genuine firm of solicitors that is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The firm’s SRA ID is 612734. The firm has confirmed that it does not employ a staff member called Paul Kelly.
Wilsons Solicitors (UK) Limited has confirmed they have no connection to the emails referred to in the above alert.
The SRA authorises and regulates several genuine solicitors called Paul Kelly, none of whom are believed to be connected to the matters 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.