Outrageous scam letter tempts would-be victim with dead man's $11m estate
- Credit: PA
A scam letter falsely told a Suffolk resident he could be the beneficiary of a dead Chinese man's multi-million pound estate - in a bid to swindle him out of money.
Suffolk Trading Standards published the letter in full on its Twitter page to warn others of the dangers of con artists trying to trick people out of their hard-earned cash.
The letter, purporting to be from CTBC Bank in Hong Kong, urges the recipient to "keep the information confidential between both of us" as "no-one knows of my communication with you" - highly unusual for any bank clerk.
The writer went on to say that a client who had since died had an investment portfolio of $11million.
"I have access and control to his file," the writer, known only as Wai, said.
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He then appears to suggest he is prepared to go rogue, saying: "So what I plan is that I insert documents that make you the beneficiary of these funds."
He proposed that he and the recipient agree to split the money 50-50, adding: "Nobody gets hurt in this deal.
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"Please I am a family man and I have take risk [sic] to contact you but I know in life you have to take any available chance to succeed."
Fraud is generally rising across Suffolk.
Figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) released earlier this year showed there was a 30% rise in fraud and computer hacking in Suffolk during the pandemic.
In one 12-month period, £14.2million was stolen from Suffolk residents - much of it from consumer fraud.
Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said at the time: “Ultimately, there needs to be a concerted national effort on eliminating fraud and a greater focus on prevention.”
Essex has seen even higher levels of fraud, with £60.3m stolen in a year.
Despite the belief that many old and vulnerable people are targeted by fraudsters, figures show that young people are often even more vulnerable from online scams.
Other scams include fraudsters making cold calls purporting to be from the ambulance trust in a bid to obtain people's personal details, as well as individuals going door to door offering to carry out loft insulation checks on the loft insulation of the property.
Suffolk Trading Standards urges people to report scams by calling 0808 223 1133.