Scam alerts

We want members of the public to have the best experience possible when they receive legal advice and support from a solicitor or law firm. Part of that involves raising awareness of any potential scams involving fake solicitors or firms.

Below is a list of recent scams that we are aware of.

If you encounter a potential scam when dealing with someone claiming to be a solicitor, you should contact the police immediately.

See our seven tips for spotting a scam solicitor.

2016 scam alerts

Fake law firm calling itself ‘Law TPM & Associates’

10 November 2016

What's the scam?

We’re aware of scam involving a fake law firm calling itself ‘Law TPM & Associates’, who have issued correspondence relating to legal services they claim to offer. The name ‘Natalya Morell, Advocate Associate’ features on a letter sent from ‘Law TPM & Associates’, which we have seen. They claim to have an address at Parker Street in London.

The fake law firm, ‘Law TPM & Associates’, claims to be part of a multinational practice called ‘Newway Holdings’. We’re aware that a falsified certificate of recognition of a multinational practice from the Law Society of Scotland has been produced and may be included in correspondence that forms part of this scam.

There is no firm of Scottish solicitors called ‘Law TPM & Associates’ and no multinational practice certificate has ever been issued to ‘Newway Holdings’.

What are we doing?

This alleged scam is being investigated and any necessary action will be taken.

What should you do?

If you are contacted by a ‘Law TPM & Associates’, do not reply or engage with any offer of legal services. Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can use our Find a Solicitor tool to verify that an individual or law firm is in fact entitled to practise in Scotland.

 

Fake solicitor calling himself 'David Donald'

23 June 2016

What's the scam?

We’ve been alerted to a suspected scam where a member of the public has allegedly received correspondence from someone falsely claiming to be a solicitor called ‘David Donald’ based in Glasgow.

According to the report, the fake solicitor claimed to work on behalf of the 'attorney general' and suggested that the person they contacted was entitled to over £400,000. All they had to do to receive the money was send a cheque of over $2,000 Canadian to an address in Toronto.

However, there is no Scottish solicitor called David Donald and this appears to be an attempted scam.

What are we doing?

This alleged scam is being investigated and any necessary action will be taken.

What should you do?

If you are contacted by a ‘David Donald’ claiming to be a Scottish solicitor, do not reply or engage with any offer of legal services. Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can use our Find a Solicitor tool to verify that an individual is in fact a Scottish solicitor who is entitled to practise.

Individual falsely claiming to be a paralegal

30 May 2016

What's the scam?

We’ve been made aware of an individual calling themselves ‘Susan Fowler’ falsely claiming to be a paralegal and a ‘conveyancing attorney’ working for law firm HBJ Gately. The individual has been sending emails to various parties with the subject line ‘Contract of sale’. The body of the email goes on to explain: ‘Accordingly please see attached updated draft contract for sale and draft TR1 to reflect this.’

We have been in contact with HBJ Gately, who are a legitimate law firm, and they have confirmed that there is no Susan Fowler employed with them.

What are we doing?

The alleged scam is being investigated further.

What should you do?

If you are contacted by a ‘Susan Fowler’ claiming to be a paralegal, do not reply or engage with any offer of legal services or open any attachments contained within the email. Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

If you are suspicious about any individual claiming to work for a firm of Scottish solicitors, contact the firm directly to verify that they are legitimately employed there. You can use our Find a Solicitor tool to search for the contact detail of Scottish law firms.

Fake solicitor calling themselves 'MB Norman Solicitors'

19 April 2016

What's the scam?

We’re aware of an attempt by scammers to pose as a law firm called ‘MB Norman Solicitors’. They claim to have an address in Dalkeith, Edinburgh.

There is no Scottish solicitor or practice of Scottish solicitors with that name.

Correspondence using the name ‘MB Norman Solicitors’ has been sent to a company in Canada. However, the attempted scam may be attempted elsewhere.

What are we doing?

We have reported this case to the authorities and the alleged scam is being investigated further.

What should you do?

If you are contacted by a ‘MB Norman Solicitors’, do not reply or engage with any offer of legal services. Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can use our Find a Solicitor tool to verify that an individual solicitor or law firm is legitimate or to find a regulated member of the legal profession in your area who can offer advice.

Fake solicitor calling themselves 'Tallon Sculthorpe'

4 April 2016

What's the scam?

We've been made aware that an individual calling themselves ‘Tallon Sculthorpe’ is claiming to be a solicitor with the Scottish law firm Irwin Mitchell.

The individual has sent letters claiming to represent clients in the Glasgow area.

However, there is no Scottish solicitor with the name ‘Tallon Sculthorpe’ and this appears to be a scam.

Irwin Mitchell is a legitimate firm of Scottish solicitors with offices in Glasgow and across the UK and they have been made aware that an individual has fraudulently claimed to be a solicitor working for them.

What are we doing?

We have reported this case to the authorities and it is being investigated further.

What should you do?

If you are contacted by a ‘Tallon Sculthorpe’, who claims to be a solicitor, do not reply or engage with any offer of legal services. Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can use our Find a Solicitortool to verify that an individual is indeed a solicitor or to find a regulated member of the legal profession in your area who can offer legal advice.

 

 

Scam offering legal services using the name 'Solicitor Legale'

16 March 2016

What's the scam?

We've been made aware of an alleged scam involving a fake legal firm calling itself 'Solicitor Legale' who are offering legal services. They claim to have an address at Baxter Place in Lhanbryde.

The names 'Isaac John', 'Caroline Macdonald', 'Jade Keith' and 'Ian Stewart' have been used in association with the fake firm.

What are we doing?

The relevant authorities have been notified of this attempted scam.                           

What should you do?

If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be from 'Solicitor Legale' in Lhanbryde, do not engage in any offer of legal services. Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

If you live in the Lhanbryde area and need help with a legal matter, you can find a legitimate and regulated firm of solicitors by entering your postcode into our Find a Solicitor tool.

 

Scam offering legal services around immigration

3 March 2016

What's the scam?

We've been made aware of an attempted scam where legal services are being offered to people overseas who want to come and work in Scotland.

The name 'Brian Dorman Solicitors' is being used on materials advertising the legal services. However, this is not a firm of Scottish solicitors entilted to pracise.

We understand that individuals looking for assistance with their immigration application are being asked to transfer money in return for the services.

What are we doing?

The police have been notified of this attempted scam.                           

What should you do?

Always check that an individual or company claiming to be a Scottish solicitor or firm of soilicitors is  genuine and entitled to practise in Scotland. You can do this by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

Scam targeting house purchases

21 January 2016

We’ve been made aware of an ongoing scam which involves fraudsters duping solicitors, house buyers and sellers in order to divert payments to accounts under their control.

The fraudsters have been contacting both solicitors and their clients.

More information about the scam and how to avoid it has been made available by the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System on an information sheet and via an article on their website.

2015 scam alerts

Bogus calls seeking card payment claiming to be from a law firm

6 November 2015

What’s the scam?

We’ve received a report that a client of Mitchells Roberts, a law firm in Glasgow, had been contacted by phone by a bogus caller claiming to be from the firm. The caller asked for card payment over the phone for services in relation to a will. The caller said it was a ‘limited time offer’.

When the client phoned their usual contact at Mitchells Roberts to check whether the call was genuine or not, they were assured that the call seeking payment did not come from the firm. 

What are we doing?

The police have been notified of this attempted scam.                           

What should you do?

It is very unusual for a law firm to seek payment over the phone, particularly if it’s for something not previously discussed or agreed.

If you are contacted by someone asking for card payment over the phone, be sure to check the call is genuine by phoning the firm back on a number different to the one used to contact you.

You should always be suspicious of calls out of the blue seeking immediate payment for services that you have not previously spoken to your solicitor about.

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can check if a firm or individual solicitor is genuine by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

 

Scam with false banks details being sent to solicitors’ clients

15 September 2015

What’s the scam?

We’ve been made aware of a scam where members of the public have received emails claiming to be from solicitors, providing false bank account details.

Members of the public who have instructed a genuine firm of solicitors, often during the purchase of a new property, have received emails claiming to be from their genuine firm of solicitors reporting that the firm's bank account details have recently changed.

The fraudulent emails, sent from a very similar email address to that of the genuine solicitor, ask the recipient to pay into the new bank account, often the deposit or completion payment for the purchase of their new home. 

What are we doing?

We are advising all Scottish firms to ensure they take steps to mitigate this risk.                                       

What should you do?

Contact your solicitor to verify their firm’s bank account details before sending any money to them, especially if you have unexpectedly received new bank account details.

You can check contact details for a firm or individual solicitor by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

Scam using the name 'Damian Alden Law Chambers'

7 July 2015

What’s the scam?

We’ve been made aware of a scam where a fraudulent firm of solicitors have copied the website of a genuine firm and are using their names and photographs in an attempt to deceive potential clients.

The scam firm is using the name ‘Damian Alden Law Chambers’ and claims to have an address at 64 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3QX and an email address of info@damianaldenchambers.com

The firms whose website they have copied is called Hughes Dowdall. This is a genuine firm of Scottish solicitors with offices in Glasgow.  

What are we doing?

The genuine firm are aware that they have been copied and the police have been notified.

                                       

What should you do?

Do not respond to correspondence reporting to be from ‘Damian Alden Law Chambers’

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can check if a firm or individual solicitor is genuine by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

Scam using the name 'Thomas Oxford, ESQ.’

29 April 2015

What’s the scam?

We’ve been made aware of a scam involving a fake solicitor claiming to have an address in Edinburgh.

The scam is using the name ‘Thomas Oxford, ESQ.’ who claims to be President of Thomas Oxford Chambers with an address at 13A Alva Street, Edinburgh.

We’ve received reports that the fake solicitor has contacted individuals claiming to have represented their deceased relatives who have left money in a will.

Please note that there is a genuine firm of solicitors called Alexander Moffat & Co., WS operating from this address on Alva Street in Edinburgh.
 

What are we doing?

The genuine firm who operate from the address used have been notified and the police have been informed.

                                       

What should you do?

Do not respond to correspondence reporting to be from ‘‘Thomas Oxford, ESQ.’ or ‘Thomas Oxford Chambers’.

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can check if a firm or individual solicitor is genuine by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

Reappearance of scam using the name 'RTS Legal'

22 April 2015

What’s the scam?

It’s come to our attention that a scam firm, calling itself RTS Legal (also known as Road Traffic Specialists, also known as Legally Covered), is again trying to gain business from clients via their website.

Another website for this fake firm was previously taken down but has reappeared at http://roadspecialistlaw.co.uk

The website is using the staff photos and names from the website of a genuine firm based in England called Lupton Fawcett LLP.

We understand that the telephone number used on the bogus website (0843 886 6154) has been used by other scam firms purporting to be based in Scotland (www.blackfriarslegal.co.uk and www.carterlaa.co.uk).

 

 

What are we doing?

The firm whose website the scam is duplicating have been notified, as have the police.

 

What should you do?

Do not respond to correspondence or calls reporting to be from ‘RTS Legal, Blackfriars Legal or Carter Legal Associates.

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can check if a firm or individual solicitor is genuine by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

Scam using the name ‘DIT & BOOI LAW CHAMBERS’

13 April 2015

What’s the scam?

We have received a report of a fake law firm calling itself ‘DIT & BOOI LAW CHAMBERS’, which is asking the people it contacts to transfer money to their bank account. They claim the money is in return for services carried out.

The fake firm is falsely claiming to have an address at 26 Drumsheugh Gardens in Edinburgh. Below is an example of the letter head they are using in pieces of correspondence sent to potential targets.

 Scam Alert DIT BOOI LAW CHAMBERS

What are we doing?

We have been in contact with one of the potential targets of the scam to gather information and have reported the scam to Police Scotland.

 

What should you do?

Do not respond to correspondence or calls reporting to be from ‘DIT & BOOI LAW CHAMBERS’ or anyone claiming to work for an organisation giving itself that name.

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can check if a firm or individual solicitor is genuine by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

 

 

Scam misusing the name 'McNeil’s solicitors'

13 March 2015

What’s the scam?

We have been notified that the name ‘John McNeil, Senior Advocate’ is reportedly being used on scam employment offers.

The employment agreements list ‘McNeils’ Solicitors’ as the point of contact for procuring an ‘International Work Certificate and Employee Registration Card.’

The contact details appear as follows:

 Mcneils

While there is a genuine firm of solicitors called McNeil’s based in Ayr, there is no John McNeil working there and they do not use the email addresses listed in the scam employment agreements.

 

What are we doing?

We are in contact with the genuine McNeil solicitors and the police have been informed.

 

What should you do?

Do not respond to correspondence or employment agreements referencing a ‘John McNeil, solicitor advocate.’ Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can check if a firm or individual solicitor is genuine by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

 

 

Scam law firm using the name ‘David Clarkson Solicitors’

13 March 2015

What’s the scam?

We’re aware of a scam reportedly using the name ‘David Clarkson Solicitors’, who claim to be based in Glasgow.

The fake firm’s address and contact details are listed as:

11 Lincoln Avenue,
Knightswood,
Glasgow,
G13 3PY
Tel: +447700004599
Email: dclarksonsolicitors@hotmail.com

This scam is reportedly duplicating a genuine firm in England called David Clark and Co.

 

What are we doing?

The genuine David Clark and Co solicitors’ firm have been notified and the police have been informed.

 

What should you do?

Do not respond to correspondence reporting to be from ‘David Clarkson Solicitors’ based in Glasgow.

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can check if a firm or individual solicitor is genuine by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

Scam using the name 'RTS Legal'

13 March 2015

What’s the scam?

We recently learned that a scam firm, RTS Legal (also known as Road Traffic Specialists, also known as Legally Covered), is claiming to be based at an address in Glasgow. The RTS Legal website is using the staff photos and names from the website of a genuine firm based in England called Lupton Fawcett LLP.

We understand that the telephone number used on the bogus website www.rtslegal.co.uk (0843 886 6154) has been used by other scam firms purporting to be based in Scotland (www.blackfriarslegal.co.uk and www.carterlaa.co.uk).

 

What are we doing?

The firm whose website the scam is duplicating have been notified, as have the police.

 

What should you do?

Do not respond to correspondence or calls reporting to be from ‘RTS Legal, Blackfriars Legal or Carter Legal Associates.

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can check if a firm or individual solicitor is genuine by using our Find a Solicitor tool.

Scam using the name ‘Carter Legal Associates’

13 March 2015

What’s the scam?

We’re aware of a scam firm who have been claiming to be solicitors called Carter Legal Associates. They have been using the details of a genuine firm of solicitors in Edinburgh called Capital Defence Lawyers in Edinburgh.

View more information about this scam.

 

What are we doing?

The firm whose website the scam is duplicating have been notified, as have the police.

 

What should you do?

Do not respond to correspondence or calls reporting to be from Carter Legal Associates.

Contact the police if you suspect a scam.

You can check if a firm or individual solicitor is genuine by using our Find a Solicitor tool.