UK regulator alerts public to fake solicitor Bitcoin scam



The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the United Kingdom has issued a warning about a new scam involving emails from fake lawyers demanding Bitcoin payments. 

According to an update on its website, an email from the address “joyti.henchie@attwaters.co” claims to have copied all of the recipient’s personal data and threatens to release damaging videos unless a Bitcoin (BTC) payment is made.

Fake email uses solicitor’s name

The scam email includes a link to a Bitcoin wallet, which may contain malware. It falsely uses the name “Patrice Joyce” and claims to be associated with the legitimate firms Attwaters Solicitors and Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors. However, the SRA confirmed that it does not authorize or regulate a lawyer named Patrice Joyce.

The SRA emphasizes that any business or transaction through the email domain “@attwaters.co” is not associated with the genuine firms or individuals it regulates. The genuine firm’s email domains end in “@attwaters.co.uk” or “@attwatersjamesonhill.co.uk.”

Manjot Kaur Henchie, known as Joyti, the bearer of the name used in the email address, is a genuine solicitor working at the legitimate firm Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors. Both the firm and Henchie have confirmed they have no connection to the scam email.

Related: How to mitigate the security risks associated with crypto payments

The SRA advises individuals to conduct due diligence if they receive suspicious correspondence. This includes verifying the email’s authenticity by contacting the law firm directly through reliable means and checking the SRA’s records to confirm the individual or firm’s authorization.

Email extortion scams

The alert by the UK regulator is another case highlighting the importance of being vigilant against email scams and ensuring any demands for payment, particularly in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, are thoroughly investigated before action is taken.

A similar email extortion scam emerged in 2019, targeting website owners using Google’s AdSense program. Scammers demanded Bitcoin in exchange for supposedly protecting against an attack that would allegedly result in AdSense account suspension.

In 2020, New Zealand law enforcement warned about a cryptocurrency scam where fraudsters blackmail victims by claiming to possess information about their online pornographic activities. The scammers demand a Bitcoin ransom, threatening to expose the victims’ alleged porn use if they don’t pay up.

Magazine: 1 in 6 new Base memecoins are scams, 91% have vulnerabilities



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