Fraudulent use of the Allen & Overy brand
We are aware of an increasing number of sophisticated and targeted attempts of fraud against Allen & Overy. Like many other reputable law firms, the Allen & Overy brand and the names of our Partners and members of staff may be used in connection with fraudulent schemes, including fraudulent emails, text messages, other social media or instant messages, letters or phone calls. These scams can take many forms and are subject to constant change. In some cases, the fraud actors may be seeking personal or confidential information, or they may be requesting advance payments or a debt settlement. Recent examples of fraudulent schemes are summarised below; however, this list is not exhaustive.
Allen & Overy LLP, its affiliated undertakings, Partners and members of staff have no involvement in these fraudulent schemes.
Third parties may purport to be, or act on behalf of, Allen & Overy, by using a fraudulent website, such as “www.allenandovery.com”, “www.allenovery-partner.com”, or “www.allenovery-lawfirm.com”. Allen & Overy’s legitimate website is www.allenovery.com.
Fraudulent emails and phone calls
Many fraud attempts use emails claiming to be from Allen & Overy in order to contact our clients and other third party companies. The fraudulent emails use domains that are similar to our legitimate domain names or domains, which can be easily created (for example, using Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail or Yahoo, which Allen & Overy does not use). Please note that we will only send communications using the following legitimate domain names: @allenovery.com, @mail.allenovery.com and @aohub.com.
On occasion, fraudulent emails may claim to be from an Allen & Overy Partner or member of staff. Such fraudulent activity may request confidential information or the redirection of payments (for example, by sending fake invoices). If you are unsure as to whether such an email is legitimate, we recommend checking the relevant Partner’s or member of staff’s profile on the Allen & Overy website (www.allenovery.com) in the first instance, which may have a notification about known instances of fraud using the Partner’s or member of staff’s name. Guidance on how you can contact us is set out below (under the heading “Action you may take”).
Alongside these fraudulent emails, we are also aware of a rise in fraudulent phone calls both claiming to be from Allen & Overy and endorsing emails claiming to be from Allen & Overy.
Impersonation of senior members of staff
Fraudsters may purport to be a senior figure within an organisation. Often, the recipient will be asked to keep the matter confidential.
Law firms’ clients may be at risk of fraud from criminals who attempt to inform them of incorrect bank details. Allen & Overy does not regularly change its bank details; accordingly, our clients should take appropriate steps to verify any apparent change of bank details with the firm, since a notification of such a change may be fraudulent. Our bank details are presented on our legitimate invoices. If any bank details are different from those currently held by a client, they should contact our Finance team and the relevant Client Relationship Partner before making any payment.
Action you may take
Always exercise caution in relation to unexpected or unusual communications, particularly where they exhibit any of the above features. We would strongly recommend that you exercise caution and, if the fraudulent scheme involves an email, do not click on any links embedded, do not download any attachments and do not engage with any emails which you suspect to be fraudulent.
If you have been targeted and would like to report an instance of a fraud attempt involving Allen & Overy, or if you would like to discuss whether a communication is genuine or fraudulent, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. We will respond to any queries or concerns that you may have, and we will take the necessary proactive steps to both manage and prevent future fraud attempts.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has produced flyers advising of the steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of the frauds which are commonly targeted at law firms and their clients, which can be found on the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA) website.
The SRA publishes scam alerts to advise the public when the name of an SRA regulated entity is being misused. Full details of all scam alerts can be found at https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/scam-alerts/.
We also recommend that you report any suspected fraudulent correspondence (for example, to your email or telephone provider) and do not respond to it. You can also report the incident to Action Fraud (UK), the Federal Trade Commission (US) or your local police service.