Alerts

Warning: Emails misusing the name Richard Swinbank

5 October 2017

Members of the public have received emails falsely claiming to be from "Richard Swinbank", regarding a "Business Proposal".

What is the scam?

The SRA has been informed that members of the public have received emails falsely claiming to be from Richard Swinbank. The emails include a document entitled "Business Proposal" which refers to an unclaimed inheritance.

A copy of the "Business Proposal" document seen by the SRA gives the email address richardswinbank11@gmail.com and refers to an unclaimed inheritance worth £16 million pounds. The document gives the postal address of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below) and requests that the recipient provide their email and fax numbers.

The SRA has also been advised that the email address richardswinbank1@gmail.com may also be being used.

Any business or transactions through the email addresses "richardswinbank11@gmail.com" and richardswinbank1@gmail.com are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.

The “business proposal” is headed in the name of Richard Swinbank (esq) and provides the postal address of a genuine firm of solicitors (see below).

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA does authorise and regulate a genuine individual named Richard Swinbank, who is a solicitor at the genuine firm of EMG Solicitors, which is also authorised and regulated by the SRA.

The genuine firm has an office address of Abbey House, Abbey Woods Business Park, Durham, DH1 5TH.

Both the genuine firm and the genuine individual have confirmed that they have no connection to the emails/ "Business Proposal" 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.