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Email scammers impersonate City law firm partner in attempt to dupe public

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Withers lawyer’s name pinched by internet wrongens

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Online scammers have impersonated a top City law firm partner in an ambitious attempt to dupe the general public out of their hard-earned cash.

According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), members of the public have received emails purporting to be from Matthew Woods, a partner at the London office of international outfit Withers. Claiming he needs help tracking down the relative of a deceased client, the emails were sent from “matthewwoodswithersbergmanllp@gmail.com” and “matthewwoodsllpwithers@gmail.com”.

Legal Cheek would like to stress that the real Matthew Woods (pictured below) — who has been a partner at Withers since 2007 — is in no way connected to the fake emails. A spokesperson for the firm told Legal Cheek:

We referred this matter to the SRA as soon as we became aware of it and are glad that they have dealt with it so swiftly.

The scammers have clearly done their research. According to Wood’s firm profile, he focuses on “the mitigation of inheritance and capital gains taxes”. So any unsuspecting email recipient — having quickly Googled Woods — may think that the appeal for help is genuine.

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It’s also been revealed by the SRA that another email, again sent from the addresses above, referred to a “business proposal”, with recipients being urged to call a telephone number provided. Legal Cheek tried calling the number, but was unable to get through to anyone.

This isn’t the first time lawyers have been targeted by internet wrongens. Back in April it emerged that would-be fraudsters had cloned the website of independent law firm giant Burges Salmon.

Using the fictional law firm name ‘Owen & Harvey Solicitors’, the cheeky creators of the site had used the real profiles of some of the firm’s senior lawyers in order to bring an air of legitimacy to their internet-based scam.

16 Comments

Bumblebee

Only one ‘top’ and no indication whatsoever of how many TCs Withers ‘dishes out’ annually.

But ‘Wrongens’ – that’s like the fabled Charizard of LC bingo.

Fair play, Tommy, fair play…

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Anonymous

How can I truly understand this story without knowing how much he earns?

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Bumblebee

No – the real question is where he was educated…

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Anonymous

Well it actually says that in the article.

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Anonymous

But it’s “wrong’uns”.

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Bumcheeks McGuffin

Indeed. The term is “wrong’uns” as in “wrong ones”. Wherever did that godawful “wrongens” come from? I’m afraid you’ll have to go back to Journalism School for a lesson in not using rubbish made-up words. In any event, I cant even remember what your article is about it’s so dull, Tom. Sorry mate.

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Anonymous

Tell Bakers their new logo is shit. And dropping the “&” sounds stupid when saying the name out loud.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

And why on earth would you bring this up here?

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Anonymous

Cuz I saw it on the sidebar

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Anonymous

Yeah – and tell ‘local horny ladies 4 u . com’ that I don’t like their logo either

(9)(0)

Bakers NQ

Do you know what also looks shit?

Not spelling “because” properly.

I’ll take the new logo over the very dated old font with the rastafarian colour scheme any time. Yes, even with the two shades of red. Logos are overrated.

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Anonymous

Do you want to know what also looks shit?

Your future job prospects.

(1)(1)

Banter McBanty

Savage.

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Bakers NQ

Please elaborate while I get myself some popcorn.

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Botty Lover

Qunz

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Bumcheeks McGuffin

“Qunz”. An interesting word proclaiming an etymology in late-medieval Arabic. Contemporaneous textual sources tell us that it means “I’m a bit of a thick clot trying to get the swearword ‘c*nts’ past website moderators but spelling it so appallingly badly that I become one of the very things I’m attempting to describe”.

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