Fraudsters use fake Reed Smith ID card in Bitcoin ‘romance scam’
Regulator issues public warning
Fraudsters have been using a fake Reed Smith “ID card” to demand Bitcoin from users on a dating website, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has warned.
The fake ID card, which purports to be that of “Barrister Reed Smith of Reed Smith Law Chambers”, is being used in what the regulator describes as a “romance scam” on popular dating website Plenty of Fish.
Once contact is made with an individual, the SRA says the victim is told they should obtain a “pre-marriage certificate” so they can collect $15 million in “inheritance” that the fraudster purportedly received. The victim is then contacted over text by “Barrister Reed Smith of Reed Smith Law Chambers” with demands to send Bitcoins.
The fraudster has been using the fake Reed Smith ID card to further the scam, according to the SRA scam alert. It used the genuine address of Reed Smith which is based in London’s Broadgate Tower on 20 Primrose Street.
Reed Smith confirmed it has no connection to Reed Smith Law Chambers.
A Reed Smith spokesperson told Legal Cheek:
“The firm has been made aware of a scam involving a person who purports to be ‘Barrister Reed Smith of Reed Smith Law Chambers’. Like many reputable law firms, Reed Smith’s brand and the names of its lawyers and employees are attractive targets for perpetrators of fraud. Their scams can take many forms and are continually evolving. We ask that individuals use caution in relation to any unexpected or unusual communications from someone purporting to be from Reed Smith, and to please check the authenticity of the correspondence.”
The firm went on urge those with any concerns about the authenticity of correspondence to email email@example.com
The SRA issues scam alerts to warn the public about individuals purporting to be solicitors. Back in May, it warned of a scam where fraudsters impersonated magic circle law firm Linklaters on WhatsApp, as well as a partner at the firm through email.
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