UK Regulator Alerts Public to Fraudulent Lawyer Email Scam Demanding Bitcoin

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A warning sign indicating an email scam involving Bitcoin payments.
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UK Regulator Alerts Public to Fraudulent Lawyer Email Scam Demanding Bitcoin

A cautionary alert has been issued by the UK’s Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regarding a new email scam where fraudsters posing as lawyers demand Bitcoin payments.

Scam Email Details

In a recent notice, the SRA disclosed an ongoing scam involving a suspicious email from “joyti.henchie@attwaters.co” that alleges possession of the recipient’s personal data and threatens to release harmful videos unless a payment in Bitcoin is made.

False Association with Reputable Law Firms

Wrongly asserting its association with Attwaters Solicitors and Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors under the fabricated name “Patrice Joyce,” this fraudulent communication links to a potentially malware-infested Bitcoin wallet. However, the SRA clarified that no such lawyer by that name is registered or regulated by them.

Genuine Domains and Verifiable Information

According to the agency, the domain “@attwaters.co” mentioned in the scam is not connected to the legitimate email domains of the involved law firms, which are “@attwaters.co.uk” and “@attwatersjamesonhill.co.uk.” Manjot Kaur Henchie, referred to as Joyti, is indeed a registered solicitor at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors but has no involvement with the scam email.

Public Advisory and Verification Steps

The SRA advises the public to engage in thorough verification processes if they encounter any dubious legal communications. This includes directly contacting the law firms through verified channels and checking the SRA’s official records to ensure the legitimacy of any solicitor or law firm mentioned in suspicious emails.

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Global Concern Over Lawyer-Impersonating Scams

Adding to the concern over such scams, the FBI issued a public warning in June that fraudsters, masquerading as lawyers, are targeting victims of cryptocurrency scams. These impostors claim they can help recover lost funds and often falsely reference the FBI to lend credibility to their claims.

Victims and Sophisticated Scams

Moreover, victims have sometimes approached these fraudsters through counterfeit websites, believing them to be legitimate avenues to recover their investments, as per the FBI’s statement. This reiterates a growing trend of sophisticated scams that leverage the trust and desperation of victims for fraudulent gain.

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