Emails falsely claiming to be from "Simon Whitehead" at "Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP"
6 December 2016
Emails have been sent to members of the public which have misused the names of "Simon Whitehead" and "Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP".
What is the scam?
The SRA has been informed that members of the public have received emails which have falsely claimed to be from Simon Whitehead of Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP.
One of the bogus emails as seen by the SRA states that Mr Whitehead is the legal counsel for a deceased client, and he is contacting family members in relation to an unclaimed financial investment.
A scam email as seen by the SRA was sent from the email address: "email@example.com", but it is reported that emails are also being sent from the email account, "firstname.lastname@example.org".
The scam emails are sent in the name of Simon Whitehead, and list the genuine office address of the genuine firm (see below).
Any business or transactions through the email addresses of: "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org" are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Is there a genuine firm or person?
Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP is a genuine firm which is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The genuine firm has a genuine address of 280 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EE.
The genuine firm of Joseph Hage Aaranson LLP do have a genuine partner called Mr Simon Whitehead, who is a genuine solicitor authorised and regulated by the SRA.
Both the genuine firm of Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP and the genuine Simon Whitehead have confirmed that they do not have any connection with the emails referred to above.
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.