Alerts

Warning: Emails and documents misusing the name of Joanne Heather Gray

Emails and documents have been sent regarding an investment matter, misusing the name of Joanne Heather Gray.

What is the scam?

The SRA has received reports that emails have been sent to companies, claiming to relate to an investment that requires an initial retainer payment to the investor’s solicitor, “Joanne Heather Gray.”

The emails seen by the SRA claim to be sent from investors and state that they are retired and “looking forward to make their first angel investment in any viable venture”. The SRA understands that the emails advise the recipient that they must pay a legal fee, as a retainer, to the accredited solicitor who is “Joanne Heather Gray”.

The emails seen by the SRA gives the email address for “Joanne Heather Gray” as “j.h.gray@zoho.eu“ and a telephone number of +44(0)2031433607.

The correspondence also makes references to the email addresses of “markpenmanm@gmail.com,” “dstross.lml@gmail.com” and “longreach@securednetworth.co.uk”

The SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm of solicitors (or a recognised sole practice) by the name of “Joanne Heather Gray.”

Any business or transactions through a “Joanne Heather Gray” using the email address or telephone number above are not undertaken by a solicitor’s practice or an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.

Update – 26 June 2018

The SRA has received a report in respect of an invoice misusing the name of Joanne Heather Gray.

The SRA understands that a member of the public has received an invoice. The contents of the invoice would appear to relate to the alert reported above requiring an initial retainer payment to the investor’s solicitor "Joanne Heather Gray."

The invoice provides a postal address of "5 Stratton Street Mayfair, London W1 W1J England". 

Any business or transactions through the above postal address are not undertaken by a solicitor's practice or an individual authorised and regulated by the SRA.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA does authorise and regulate a genuine solicitor called Joanne Heather Gray.

The genuine Joanne Heather Gray has confirmed to the SRA that she has no connection to the emails or documents 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.

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