Warning: Document claiming to be from "Barry Berlin" of "Birchtree Law Chambers Limited"
7 September 2020
A document claiming to be from "Barry Berlin" of "Birchtree Law Chambers Limited"
What is the scam?
A member of the public has received a document, purporting to be from Birchtree Law Chambers. The document seen by the SRA informs the recipient that their relative has left a "huge sum/ inheritance unclaimed". The document asks the recipient to confirm receipt of the email and to respond back to "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA does not authorise and regulate a solicitor called Barry Berlin, nor does it authorise or regulate a firm of solicitors called Birchtree Law Chambers.
Any business or transaction conducted through "Barry Berlin", "Birchtree Law Chambers" and the email address "email@example.com" are not undertaken by a solicitor’s practice or by an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
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.
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