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Russell-Cooke has been made aware of a number of scams that use the name of the firm, its partners and staff without permission. Recently, some of these scams have been attempted in Canada, Italy and Germany.
Insurance / life policy fraud
If you have received a fax or email informing you that an individual who:
- has the same name and nationality as you, and
- may be unrelated or unknown to you
has died, and that you may be able to claim as a beneficiary, this is likely to be part of a scam. Typically, the fraudsters will ask for your consent to proceed, in order to release the non-existent monies.
Russell-Cooke does not contact individuals in this way and will not, therefore, have sent you any correspondence relating to a potential inheritance.
Cyber risk: bill payment and email fraud
Law firm clients have been targeted by fraudsters who are informing clients that the law firm’s bank details have changed and request that future settlement of the law firm’s bills is made to the new (i.e. the fraudster’s) account.
Russell-Cooke will only provide our account details in the form of an original or PDF Russell-Cooke headed letter sent either by mail or as an attachment to an email. We also set out payment details for settlement of bills at the foot of our invoices. Any notification or request suggesting our payment details have changed will not, therefore, have come from us.
If you receive any communication purporting to come from Russell-Cooke which either indicates that Russell-Cooke’s bank details have changed or which gives you any reason to doubt its provenance you should immediately contact the person with conduct of your matter by telephone (not email), and not act on the communication unless and until you are satisfied it is genuine.
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.
Please also let us know about any scams which use our name by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, or, if you are a client, by speaking to your usual Russell-Cooke contact.