Warning: Correspondences misusing the name Consumer Rights Solicitors Limited
28 September 2021
Correspondences have been sent misusing the name of Consumer Rights Solicitors Limited in relation to matters involving the Administration of Estates.
What is the scam?
The SRA have been informed that correspondence has been sent to several firms of solicitors and a member of the public purporting to from 'Consumer Rights Solicitors'.
The SRA understands that the firms of solicitors are acting for matters involving the Administration of Estate and 'Consumer Rights Solicitors' are claiming to be creditors of the estate of the deceased individual for whom the firm of solicitors are acting.
The correspondence names the deceased individual as a creditor and provides an invoice for the allegedly outstanding amount, giving bank account details into which payment of the debt should be made within seven days. The 'invoices' provide a telephone contact number of '0161 797 6119' and an email address of 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
The correspondence misuses the name and registered postal address of a genuine firm of solicitors and also the genuine SRA number of another firm of solicitors.
Any business or transactions through the email address of 'email@example.com' and telephone number of '0161 797 6119' are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice authorised and regulated by the SRA or by an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called Consumer Rights Solicitors Limited trading as Consumer Rights Solicitors. The genuine firm is based at Lloyds House, 18 - 22 Lloyds Street Manchester M2 5WA. The telephone number is 0333 3443211 and the genuine emails end with the domain name '@crsolicitors.co.uk'. The genuine firm’s SRA number is 639255.
The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine firm of solicitors called Criminal Defence Associates Limited, which has a branch office with the SRA number of 639255.
The genuine firms Consumer Rights Solicitors Limited and Criminal Defence Associates Limited has confirmed that they have no connection to the letters or documents 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.
Update 10 November 2021
The SRA has been informed that the above scam is still in operation.
The previous bank account details referred to in the alert above have been frozen. However, a firm of solicitors has received a letter purporting to be from 'Consumer Rights Solicitors' providing details for a new bank account in the name of ‘Consumer Right'.