Fraudsters have used the name of Simmons & Simmons in a hoax to convince victims they have won the lottery, in the latest scam using City law firms.
The scam phone calls from people purporting to be at Simmons & Simmons prompted the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to issue an alert last week warning members of the public of the fraud.
Victims were told by the fraudster that they had “won an American or Canadian lottery,” and have 15 days to collect their jackpot, the SRA wrote.
At least one of the scam calls made was from someone who identified themselves as “Matthew Perry of Simmons & Simmons LLP”.
The City law firm confirmed that it has no connection with the phone calls.
“Simmons & Simmons is aware of these lottery related scam calls to the public,” said a spokesperson for the law firm.
“Our website has also been updated to include this particular scam alert,” the spokesperson added.
It is not the first time city law firms have been used in consumer scams. Earlier this year fraudsters pretending to be UK Linklaters lawyers sent messages over Whatsapp about a dubious “foreign business transaction”.
The problem extends nationally. Financial fraud rose in the UK by 30 per cent in the first half of 2021, resulting in losses of over £750m, according to a report into fraud by banking trade body UK Finance, published in September.
The rising figures prompted the banking trade association to brand fraud in the UK as a “national security threat”.