We have encountered a problem where this firm’s identity is being used by a potential fraudster. On one day in January, we were contacted by seven people/firms in Canada who received a letter from a potential fraudster, holding himself out as being an attorney at this firm, using this firm’s address. Since then we have been contacted by several more ‘victims’ in Germany and Romania.
The communications are always by fax, and the fraudster claims to have funds in a bank account in Europe belonging to a client and offers to share those funds with the addressee, who is asked to make contact with the fraudster. Most of the victims are businesses and/or law firms. We have no way of knowing how many people have actually been approached.
We contacted the SRA, which made a note on its system and referred us to Action Fraud, part of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Action Fraud has said it can take no action, as no crime has been committed at this stage, although the potential for this clearly exists. We are concerned as our identity is being stolen for potential fraudulent activity with implications for the firm’s reputation. In addition, there are regulatory concerns, should a victim make a complaint about this firm to the SRA.
We shall be very glad to know whether anyone has experienced this problem and if they have any suggestions regarding what one can do to ‘limit the damage’.
Alan Ashley, Alan Ashley & Co, London EC4