Warning: Fraudulent ID card misusing the name Reed Smith Law Chambers

29 June 2021

Fraudulent ID card misusing the name Reed Smith.

What is the scam?

A fraudulent ID card is being used which purports to be that of Barrister Reed Smith of Reed Smith Law Chambers.  The address used on the fake ID card is Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose Street, London (see below in relation to the genuine firm).

Once contact is made with an individual through the on-line dating service website, Plenty of Fish, the ID card is then used in what is known as a 'Romance scam'.

The victim is told she should obtain a Pre-marriage certificate so she may come into possession of US $15m which is an 'inheritance' that the fraudster purportedly received.   

The victim is then contacted by SMS messages by the 'Barrister Reed Smith of Reed Smith Law Chambers' with demands to send bitcoins.  The fraudster has been using the Reed Smith ID card to further the scam.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called Reed Smith LLP with the address of Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose Street, London.

The SRA does not authorise and regulate an individual by the name of Reed Smith or any entity named Reed Smith Law Chambers.

The genuine firm of Reed Smith LLP has confirmed that it has no connection to Reed Smith Law Chambers. 

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.