Warning: "Duncombe & Co. Solicitors LLP" and correspondence from "Jeremy Duncombe"
9 September 2020
Correspondence from "Jeremy Duncombe" and the website "www.duncombellp.com" for "Duncombe & Co. Solicitors LLP".
What is the scam?
A member of the public has received emails and a letter from an individual called "Jeremy Duncombe", claiming to be of "Duncombe & Co. Solicitors LLP".
The correspondence relates to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance, of an individual whose surname appears to be tailored to match the name of the recipient of the correspondence.
The correspondence seen by the SRA appears to have used the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org". The contact details provided in the correspondence are:
- Telephone number; "+44-203-8795400"
- Fax number; "+44-203-8688704";
- Address: "53 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HB, United Kingdom".
The website listed is "www.duncombellp.com". This website is operating and also provides the address "29 Water St, City Centre, Liverpool L2 0RD, United Kingdom". The website provides a general email address of "email@example.com" and another telephone number of "(+44)203-868-8704".
As well as "Jeremy Duncombe", the website refers to various other supposed Partners or "Solicitors": "Nicole Hancock" (firstname.lastname@example.org); "Dianne Williams" (email@example.com); "Mark Beckford" (firstname.lastname@example.org); "Patrick Bryant" (email@example.com) and "Darren Franklin" (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm called "Duncombe & Co Solicitors LLP". Any business or transaction through "Duncombe & Co Solicitors LLP", through the above contact details (or other details), is not undertaken by a solicitor’s practice or by an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA did authorise and regulate a genuine firm of solicitors called Duncombe Commercial Solicitors, which ceased trading in 2001. This firm is not believed to have any link to the matters referred to in the above alert.
The website referred to in the above alert also appears to misuse the photographs of people understood to be genuine lawyers (but in the USA). Such genuine people are not believed to be connected to the website 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.