Please be aware that whilst some scams are obvious, others can be quite complex in nature as fraudsters become more sophisticated and technology evolves. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
Inheritance, or legal services, fraud
Third parties impersonate our lawyers or other professional staff in an attempt to get you to make a payment in advance of receiving legal services, often in relation to a possible inheritance. Common themes are ‘a late or distant relative’ with the same surname as the recipient, and the impersonation of our lawyers.
Third parties purporting to be Bates Wells, or to be acting on our behalf, or using a fraudulent website. Please note that in some instances pictures of our lawyers have been used – with different names – to create fake law firms’ websites. Bates Well’s legitimate website is at www.bateswells.co.uk.
Third parties impersonating Bates Wells partners or staff using email addresses provided by well-known providers such as Gmail, Outlook.com, Hotmail or Yahoo. Bates Wells does not use these service providers for email communications. Please also be alert to the use of email addresses associated with fraudulent domains, as set out above. Legal communications from Bates Wells partners and staff will only originate from @bateswells.co.uk
Marketing communications may come from the following domains: [email protected]
Law firms’ clients are at risk of fraud by criminals who attempt to inform them of incorrect bank details for their lawyers. Bates Wells does not regularly change its bank details and our clients should take steps to verify any apparent change of bank details verbally with the firm since notification of such a change may, in fact, be fraudulent. Our bank details are presented on our invoices. If these bank details are different from those currently held by a client, they should contact our Finance team before making payment. Clients should take appropriate steps to satisfy themselves that the bank details they hold for the firm are accurate.
Scams we are aware of
1– Members of the public are being contacted to request sums of money to be deposited into an unknown bank account through the use of fraudulent invoices containing our firm’s name and logo.
Members of the public have been contacted by an individual, calling himself ‘David Campbell’, who purported to be working with this firm. The email address used by this individual was [email protected] The invoice contains a phone number, 0303 123 1111, and an email address, [email protected] This phone number and email address do not belong to any member of Bates Wells staff and should not be responded to.
The invoice also contains details for a Nationwide account in the name of Miss J Alexander. This account is in no way related to Bates Wells and you should not send any money to it.
2- Members of the public are being contacted to request sums of money to be deposited into an unknown bank account to pursue litigation in the Spanish courts.
It has come to our attention that the name Bates Wells is being used to request sums of money to be deposited into an unknown bank account to pursue litigation in the Spanish courts.
Members of the public are being contacted by an individual purporting to be an employee of this firm, the individual is using the name Marcus Rose and the phone number being used is 07763 231 595. This phone number does not belong to any member of staff or partner at Bates Wells and should not be responded to.
3- Members of the public are receiving unsolicited emails allegedly sent from Bates Wells’ Immigration department.
Unsolicited emails, allegedly being sent from Bates Wells’ Immigration department, have been brought to our attention. These emails are not being sent by Bates Wells, please do not respond to them.
Action you may take
Always exercise caution in relation to unexpected or unusual communications, particularly where they exhibit any of the above features.
We recommend that you report fraudulent correspondence to your email or telephone provider and do not respond to it.
If you think you have been approached by a fraudster, you can report the matter to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, in London. Action Fraud reports can be made on 0300 123 2040, or via their website – www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Please also let us know about any scams which use our name by contacting [email protected] or, if you are a client, by speaking to your usual Bates Wells contact partner.