There have been an increasing number of scams that use the name of law firms, their partners and staff fraudulently for the express aim of extracting monies from unsuspecting recipients of email communications.
These relate to (but are not limited to) the following:
- Advance fee/inheritance fraud
- Bill payment fraud
- Real estate transactions
Details about property sales are largely advertised and as such are a common target for fraudsters. Other well publicised transactions or Court cases may also be targeted. Most commonly the fraudsters will seek to redirect the completion monies (or damages) using emails which appear to come from our firm. Any such email will not have come from us. If you are a client of the firm you will have had details about payments to this firm in our retainer letter (this same information is set out on our invoices). They will not change.
Similarly, a fraudster may seek to intercept the payment of a bill to our firm, asking that payment be redirected to a different account. Any such email will not have come from us. We provide our payment details in our retainer letter and our invoices. They will not change.
Advance fee/inheritance frauds involve an email communication, purporting to be from a legitimate law firm, advising you that a relative has died and asking you for an advance fee to secure your claim to an inheritance. This is likely to be scam. Even if it appears to come from Mishcon de Reya, any such email will not have come from us.
If you have received an unexpected request purporting to be from us relating to the movement of funds, please contact the solicitor dealing with your matter. Please make sure you do so using the normal telephone number for that person (and avoid using any number provided in any suspect or unexpected communication).
If the communication was not genuine then you should also report the incident to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and make an Action Fraud Report by calling +44 30 0123 2040 or via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk.