We have published many warnings about fake law firms, their modus operandi and their use of “company” names which when searched could lead you to conclude they are genuine. The latest to come to our attention looks like it is now gone as the website is no longer accessible, but it does reinforce the point of how careful you must be.
Abogados Madrid Legal, with the address Calle Serrano 95 28006 Madrid and the telephone number +34 910606828, both confirmed from the website www.abogados-madrid-legal.eu
The address does actually show up on Google Maps, but this is now where we find the first telltale sign that they may not be genuine. According to Google Maps, number 95 C/Serrano looks very much like a private mansion, or it may be part of the Higher Education College next door.
Our next sign is on searching the web, we find several with similar names but one law firm stood out, Abogados Madrid Legal, with the address Calle de Serrano, 93, 3 E, 28006 Madrid, their website https://abogadosmadridlegal.es/
So from just a basic search, you could think they are one and the same and discontinue the search, exactly what the “scammers” want to extract as much money from you as possible. But how are they going to do this?
It would appear they are working for the courts, again, as at the bottom of their letter it shows “Juzgado de Instrucciones II Madrid and the Registration Number: 2254989348X, along with the website address located at the top of the page www.mjusticia.gob.es which is the official Ministry of Justice website, the inference is very clear.
The recipient of the initial cold call was told to their surprise that they have been awarded 19,200€ by the courts, and they would be receiving two documents regarding the non-payment of the relevant “TAX”. The opening paragraph is littered with official-looking agencies and declarations.
The “TAX” which needs to be paid in order to release the funds due to various “tax” laws, amounts to 2,577€. This can be paid directly to the
Registro de la Propiedad / Oficina De Información De Agencia Tributaria, Local Tax Office Agenda Estatal de Administración Tributaria – Centralita Delegación Especial De España Calle Guzman el Bueno 139 Madrid 28004 España. You may also pay directly online by emailing email@example.com, a very dodgy-looking email address. Their bank details are also supplied.
This is also backed up with the “OFFICIAL TAX” form, these can be easily downloaded from the tax office website. This is also “stamped” with “official” logos of the Notary Register, “signed” by Suarez Pablo and dated 4 July 2022, and now it looks like they have disappeared into thin air.
But this is not the end of it, as we have seen with previous websites for “fake” law firms, they have used images of genuine people as their lawyers, with the usual name change. When we first encountered the website we used this image of “their lawyer” named in the letter, Jose Gomez and conducted a search.
This image has obviously been found online and downloaded for use on the website, it is in fact a Lawyer in The Dominican Republic, Paulino Duarte. His Linkedin profile can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulinoduarte/ with the following information:
In my 35 years of experience in the professional practice of Law in the Dominican Republic, both at the judicial level and in consultancy, it has allowed me to introduce and put into practice, through our firm Duarte & Tejada, Preventive Lawyers and Notary, vital aspects for our associated clients such as:
- Prevention of judicial conflict
- Comprehensive Legal Assistance Service (SAJI)
With these two (2) powerful tools we add value to each service proposal we offer.
Visit us in:
This “FAKE” law firm may seem to have disappeared, probably to re-emerge later with a slight change to the contact details, or even to come back under a new name, one thing is certain, those who believed what they were told along with the supporting documents then paid, that money is long gone with no hope of ever recovering it.
A Cold Call, unsolicited email or text, or even old-fashioned “snail mail”, should be the first thing to put you on your guard, especially if it is about a “windfall payment” for a case you had no idea you were involved in. The next point to put you on guard is the “we are working with or appointed by the courts” to make contact with victims named in “fraud cases”.
Lastly, you should be wary of any documents sent and any laws quoted, followed by close attention to email addresses and any links provided. Postal addresses should also be checked using apps like Google Maps, an address showing an apartment block in a residential area tends to be a dead giveaway, so remember
PDFs of Documents, redacted.