Fake UK Law Firm Email Scam

A Business Proposal 22 October 2019

OK, this is one of the best presented email scams we have seen, sure, there are some obvious clues as to the authenticity of the email and the website, but it's a pretty good effort. They only need to tidy a few things up and it would be a lot more convincing. The alarming component of this scam is that they have gone to the trouble of registering a new domain and building a complete website.

It Starts With An Email

There are three classic signs this is a scam email

  • It's a "business proposal" sent by email
  • The sender email address is clearly dodgy
  • I am not Gary Fitzgerald

And Google warned me anyway, which is why we recommend Google Cloud G Suite for business email

So, my first thought was, obvious scam using a legitimate website as cover, so I checked out the website www.aranlawfirm.com

  • Most UK websites use the TLD .co.uk but it's no biggie becaue they operate world wide
  • It is much easier to register a .com domain than a .co.uk domain if you are a scammer
  • The website looks fine at first glance, I was looking for the contact page so I did not pay much attention to the home page
  • It was odd that the Website did not have an SSL certificate but again, it's not a huge issue....but it soon will be

When you look closely the massive typo, and the odd, Trump-like language, are dead giveaways!

So I went to the contact page and found their advertised email address info@aranlawfirm.com

The email address looks fine, however none of the social media links work, but I was just looking for an email address

So I emailed the law firm to advise that someone might be taking their name in vain....

Wait, what? My email bounced back!

OK, alarm bells now ringing loudly, so I did some research

The website itself has a question mark according to the Webroot Web Filtering Extension, we recommend Webroot SecureAnywhere Business Endpoint Protection for business and personal internet security.

The website itself is full of typos and poor grammar which in itself is not completely unknown but you might imagine that a legitimate law firm would pay attention to their website detail....

Let's have a look at the attorneys....

There are no "Read Full Bio" pages and none of these people exist!

  • George Ficca only exists on the scam website
  • Arant Brent only exists on the scam website but there is a Brent Arant who is a US Attorney
  • Stephanie Lynn only exists on the scam website, but there is a Stephanie Lynn May who is also a US Attorney
  • James Petersen only exists on the scam website, but there is a James A Petersen who is also a US Attorney

I guess in scammer land, this is clever.....

So, it's a pretty good effort by the scammers which does not pass scrutiny

What they are hoping to find is someone interested in their "business proposal" without doing any sort of due diligence, apparently those people exist! It is fair to say that any potential scammer reading this web page might pick up a few clues as to how they might make a better fist of it next time, but really, they are not that sharp! It is much more important to highlight their attempts and offer our customers detailed advice as to how to avoid being scammed. It is a dry subject, but very important all the same!

For more information about internet and email security, please get in touch, we provide a range of products including email services and internet security which will help protect you from online scams.

Greg Williams 24/10/19