Warning: Emails misusing the name of BTMK Solicitors Limited
7 January 2021
Emails misusing the names of several fee-earners of BTMK Solicitors Limited, using the false domains “@bmtk.co.uk” and “@btkm.co.uk”.
What is the scam?
Emails falsely claiming to be from several fee-earners of BTMK Solicitors, using email addresses ending “@bmtk.co.uk” and “@btkm.co.uk”, were received by third parties in December 2020. These domain names are slight variations on the actual domain name of the genuine firm (see below).
The emails seen by the SRA provide fraudulent banking information for payments to be sent to, as part of property purchase transactions.
False reasons were sometimes provided for the purported change in account details. These include that it was due to a supposed “ongoing audit”, or that the different organisation named in the account details was a subsidiary which supposedly handled the firm’s “client care affairs”
Any such emails misused the names of genuine staff and the name of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).
The SRA understands that the false domains “@bmtk.co.uk” and “@btkm.co.uk” were suspended in December 2020. However, any business or transactions through emails from these domains, or other similar emails from any further variations on the firm’s genuine domain name (see below), are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called BTMK Solicitors Limited, whose head office address is 19 Clifftown Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1AB. The head office telephone number is 01702 339 222.
The genuine firm uses email addresses with the domain name “@btmk.co.uk”.
The genuine firm of BTMK Solicitors Limited has confirmed that neither the firm or the fee-earners whose names were misused have any genuine and intended connection to the emails referred to in the alert above.
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.