Emails fraudulently claiming to be from "Samantha Horsfield"
23 December 2016
Emails have been sent which fraudulently claim to be from "Samantha Horsfield" at "Wansbroughs" relating to a property transaction.
What is the scam?
The SRA has been informed that emails have been sent which fraudulently claim to be from "Samantha Horsfield, Solicitor - Private Client - Property Team". The emails relate to a conveyancing transaction and concern the payment of funds and deposit monies to the firm. The emails ask about when payments will be received.
The emails the SRA has seen have been sent from "firstname.lastname@example.org."
The emails also provide the genuine website address, contact telephone and fax numbers of the genuine firm of Wansbroughs Solicitors (see below).
Any business or transactions through the email address "email@example.com" are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
Wansbroughs Solicitors is a genuine firm which is authorised and regulated by the SRA. Samantha Horsfield is a genuine solicitor who is authorised and regulated by the SRA. She is employed at the genuine firm but uses a different email address to the one above.
Both Wansbroughs Solicitors and Samantha Horsfield have confirmed that they do not have any connection with the fraudulent emails 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.