IMPORTANT PUBLIC SAFETY NOTICE - SUSPECTED CYBERCRIME
3 min • 06 Jul 23
IMPORTANT PUBLIC SAFETY NOTICE:
GLS has recently become aware of the existence of a potentially deceptive website attempting to impersonate elements of the GLS Group. Through this Notice, we wish to inform you of this suspected cybercrime activity.
The Suspected Scam:
Each of the Reported Websites appear to have used scraped data from various historic websites of the GLS Group to give the appearance of a website similar to our own (e.g., name, font choice, icons, certain aspects of look and feel).
We believe that the operators of the Reported Websites have the deliberate intent to dupe members of the public into thinking the Reported Websites’ operators are a legitimate service provider – potentially even part of the GLS Group.
The operators of the Reported Websites use email addresses that are deceptively similar to the GLS Group’s email addresses (e.g., “Joe Blogs <firstname.lastname@example.org>”), to contact victims / members of the public.
We wish to reiterate that the representatives of the Reported Websites are NOT employees, contractors, or agents of the GLS Group or any company comprised within the GLS Group. Further, the GLS Group DOES NOT have any association or relationship whatsoever with the Reported Websites.
We are aware that certain members of the public claim to have been defrauded of sizeable sums of money by representatives of the Reported Websites through elaborate, prolonged and detailed ruses.
The nature of the scam seems to involve pretending to help fraud victims recover funds that had been stolen from them, as follows:
- offering a no upfront fee in return for tracking down the victim’s stolen funds. Ostensibly the service provider would only be paid a percentage of any sums recovered;
- claiming the lost funds have been located but they have been converted into crypto-currency;
- deploying elaborate KYC/AML requests (supposedly from GLS Law Company and the National Australia Bank Limited etc) for the sake of “releasing” the recovered funds;
- asking the unwitting victims to pay additional sums (e.g., tax, fees, etc) for the crypto funds to be released as fiscal currency; and
- then absconding with any funds paid by the victims.
The Reported Websites appear to intend to mislead unsuspecting individuals and exploit their trust in reputable brands such as our own, ING, Lloyds Bank, National Australia Bank, Visa and BNP Paribas, etc.
The Reported Websites are engaging in activities that could harm users, such as, amongst other things, purporting to help recover funds from crypto scam, soliciting personal information, spreading malware/viruses, and performing unauthorized financial transactions.
What We Know So Far:
We are not cybercrime experts but below is what we have gathered thus far:
- The Reported Websites have absolutely no connection with the GLS Group of companies.
- The Reported Websites are, in our opinion – likely to be a scam website.
- This scam has targeted victims in at least the UK and Belgium so far.
- The Reported Websites' owners portray it as a “law company” but are not registered with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (“SRA”) in the UK. All firms/solicitors operating in the UK must be registered with the SRA.
- The biodatas of the various lawyer profiles on the Reported Websites do not relate to admitted solicitors in the UK according to a search of the SRA roll.
- The pictures of the lawyers on this website all appear to have been sourced from public image stock databases.
- The Reported Websites were only launched in the last 30 days ago and various “site safety websites” declare it to be a high-risk site.
- The Reported Websites are incomplete and does not pass professional scrutiny from the perspective of a diligent law firm.
- The Reported Websites appear to be hosted by a service provider in Russia – “LLC Rusengoresource”.
- The email service provider is Yandex – a major Russian provider.
- There are no required legal addresses or contact details on the Reported Websites.
- We have been advised that this suspected fraudulent activity has involved at least the following email addresses/persons:
- Andrew Smith - email@example.com (not an employee of GLS)
- Jacob Matthews - firstname.lastname@example.org (not an employee of GLS)
- Mike Specter - email@example.com (not an employee of GLS)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (not an email address owned or used by GLS)
- email@example.com (not an email address owned or used by GLS)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (not an email address owned or used by GLS)
- email@example.com (not an email address owned or used by GLS)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (not an email address owned or used by GLS)
- email@example.com (not an email address owned or used by GLS)
We want to emphasize that the Reported Websites and each of the email addresses / names above have NO affiliation with the GLS Group or any of the entities that comprise the GLS Group, and is not authorized to represent or conduct any business on our behalf.
We encourage all persons who are contacted by the Reported Websites to take appropriate steps to protect themselves and to notify relevant law enforcement authorities if they are victims of suspected fraud.
At the GLS Group, we prioritise the protection and wellbeing of our clients and the public. We have reported this scam to and, will continue working with, the appropriate authorities, including the UK National Crime Agency.
We strongly advise all our clients and the public to always perform some quick research on such organisations before engaging their services.
The GLS Group will also never request confidential information or bank details by phone or email. All payment requests by GLS Group would always include supporting documents such as an Invoice or Work Order.
To avoid becoming a victim of such scams, there are several actions you can take:
- always verify the address of the website you are on;
- if you receive an email, check the sender’s email address carefully;
- perform a search on their physical company address on Google Maps to ensure there is indeed a physical location;
- pay attention to the spelling and grammar on the website and emails - fake emails or websites often contain errors;
- if the sender is unknown, do not click on any links and do not open attached files;
- if in doubt please, contact GLS Group directly and ask if the person approaching you is associated with the GLS Group;
- check if Personnel purporting to be solicitors are indeed registered with the country’s regulatory body;
- check for their social media accounts, especially their LinkedIn profiles; and
- search for any news articles on the company and its Personnel for their media presence.
Again, if you have been in any way impacted by the Reported Websites, we recommend you approach relevant law enforcement authorities and also consider seeking appropriate legal representation to assist you. You can use this link to submit a fraud report to the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre UK