The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has alerted us to a scam involving the misuse of the name of a retired English-qualified solicitor as a witness to a signature on a Scottish residential lease.
What’s the scam?
The lease document, which has been seen by the SRA, shows a stamp for the firm Harry Shingleton along with the address, with the name "Harry. W. Shingleton" signed underneath.
The stamp gives the genuine address, telephone number and SRA number for a genuine firm of solicitors. The SRA authorised and regulated a genuine solicitor called Harry William Shingleton who, prior to his retirement in August 2020, previously offered locum services through a firm also called Harry Shingleton. The genuine Harry Shingleton has confirmed that neither he or his former company have any connection with the document or stamp. Read more about the scam on the SRA website.
What should I do?
If you receive correspondence claiming to be from the above firm or individual this should be reported as fraud to the police.
When working with a solicitor or law firm it is important to carry out due diligence and check the authenticity of correspondence you receive.
The Law Society of Scotland’s Find a Solicitor search tool allows you to find the contact details for all practising Scottish solicitors.
You can contact the SRA to find out if individuals or firms operating in England and Wales are regulated and authorised by the SRA and verify an individual's or firm's practising details.
If you suspect a fraud, or other crime, remember to report it on the Action Fraud website. Where a fraud or scam has actually taken place, it should be reported directly to Police Scotland. We recommend that you read our cybersecurity guide which includes tips for individuals receiving emails and what to think about before clicking on links and attachments.
Check all the latest notifications on our website: fraud alerts