Scam communications: how to avoid them

Overview

Legal Notices

The Legal Notices should be read as a whole. Certain words as used in the Legal Notices and elsewhere on this website, in emails and in other materials are to have the meanings assigned here.

Scam Alert (October 2015)

We are aware that the name of our firm and individual lawyers within it, have been used in various attempted frauds.

Most recently we have been informed that a bogus law firm, "Bird & Bird Law Partners", is circulating letters offering to assist recipients facilitate the release of a substantial charitable donation from the Neil Trotter Charity Project. The letters are sent in the name of James Taylor (said to be a "registered B&B firm partner") and are addressed as though sent from our London office, although they bear bogus telephone, fax and email contact details.  

Please note that:

  • this firm and its lawyers have no involvement in this or any other similar scams (see further information at Warning – Suspicious letters and emails);
  • our name is being used in an unauthorised and illegal way; and
  • we do not use gmail, hotmail, yahoo or other similar email addresses.

We recommend that you delete any scam emails you receive and do not reply to scam letters.

Please contact us if you wish to check if any communication you receive which refers to our firm or our lawyers is genuine.


Scam communications: how to avoid them

Phone calls, letters, emails and texts from scammers or fraudsters can seem legitimate and convincing so it's important to be vigilant and look for anything suspicious.

AWARENESS

Become familiar with some of the more common scams and the tips on how to keep yourself secure listed below. If you receive any communication purporting to be from Bird & Bird or any of our partners or employees about which you are uncertain or suspicious, check the background; until you are satisfied do not respond, do not provide personal or confidential information and do not authorise any money transfer.

We are aware of recent attempts to persuade companies to pay substantial amounts of money on the strength of a communication supposedly from a partner at Bird & Bird.

KEEPING YOURSELF SECURE

  • Scams typically involve:
    • asking you to pay money, perhaps as part of a company transaction;
    • changing payment details for invoices or money you pay regularly; or
    • promising you more money back at a future date.
  • Also, look out for:
    • In the case of an email supposedly from one of our lawyers, you can check whether an individual is from Bird & Bird in the Our Lawyers section of this website;
    • Sometimes poor use of English (or other language) or over-familiarity from someone you do not know;
    • Any email from one of our lawyers should be from them on the twobirds.com domain, so john.smith@twobirds.com, but not john.smith@gmail.com (or similar);
    • Unjustified urgency or confidentiality;
    • Any express or implied request to override proper financial controls or to pay out against un-cleared funds; and
    • Request for payment to an unknown party usually in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Stay alert when someone you do not know calls you – no matter who they claim to be. Often fraudsters will claim they are from a named law firm or a bank, and then trick you into transferring money or giving confidential bank details.

  • If someone calls from a named company asking for your personal details, or confidential information concerning your bank details, end the call. Then call the company back on a different telephone at a telephone number you already know, or as found on their official website.

  • Emails and web site links:
    • phishing is a common scam involving emails and fake websites that try to trick people into disclosing sensitive information; or
    • Malware can infect your computer and network and put your data out of use.

FURTHER INFORMATION

You can find further information on scams on the Solicitors Regulation Authority website.

Please let us know about any suspicious communications by emailing us and we will investigate.

Please note that this firm and its lawyers have no involvement in the scams described above or any other scams; our name is being used in an unauthorised and illegal way. Note that we do not use Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or similar addresses. Unfortunately, we may not be able to recover the funds for you if you have paid money away to a scam, even if the fraudster has pretended to be from Bird & Bird. However, we do take all cases seriously and our Risk & Compliance team will be happy to take the details of your case.

July 2015