We have been informed by a Third Party that correspondence has been recently sent to them falsely claiming to be from David Simpson at Abacus Solicitors.
What is the scam?
The e-mail seen by us claims to be from Mr Simpson acting in relation to Letters of Administration in the estate of a deceased person and encloses a Legal Services Agreement, Irrevocable Guarantee and an Invoice and invites the client to transfer a considerable sum of money to an offshore account. The email copies Mr Simpson’s details but is from a false e-mail address and provides false telephone and fax numbers.
The letters and documents claim to be from “David Simpson” at “Abacus Solicitors LLP”. The letter provides a contact telephone number and fax number of 0208 242 6330 and an email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. These numbers and the e-mail and the domain name are false. The letter also gives the postal address which is our correct office address but the DX address has been slightly altered.
Any business or transactions through the contact details 0208 242 6330, email address email@example.com or the website or domain
www.abacussolicitors.co.uk are not undertaken by this practice or an individual authorised or regulated by the SRA. Any alternative names from this practice using that domain would also be false.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
The SRA does authorise and regulate Abacus Solicitors LLP and our correct domain is www.abacus-law.co.uk. Our correct contact number is 0161 833 0044 and our fax number is 0161 833 4004. Correct e-mail addresses for representatives of the firm can be found on our website.
We have no connection to the correspondence referred to above. The documents in the scam refer to monies being sent to an offshore account. Abacus Solicitors LLP do not operate any offshore accounts or trusts and bank only with Handelsbanken’s Salford branch. We have stringent anti-fraud and money laundering procedures in order to ensure that client monies are kept safe and if you have any concerns at all then please contact us.
We confirm that this above issue has been reported to both the SRA and to the Police via Action Fraud. We have also contacted the domain provider notifying them of the fraud and requesting the domain be closed down. All parties are investigating at this time. The purpose of this notice is to urgently notify anyone visiting our site of the issue.
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. This is particularly the case where initial contact is unsolicited or with an issue, you are not familiar with.
However, fraud can also occur when fraudsters have been monitoring your emails and seek to intervene in a transaction by misdirecting you. If you have any concerns regarding anything you have received which purports to be from this firm then please contact us immediately. 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 firms practising details. Other verification methods, such as checking public records (e.g. telephone directories and company records) may be required in other circumstances.