Family and police issue scam warning
PUBLISHED: 12:12 28 April 2011
A SCAM that callously targeted a widow less than a year after her husband’s death has been branded as “disgusting” and “immoral” by family members.
A letter was sent out to Barbara Webb, mother of Saffron Walden fire station sub-officer Nigel Webb telling her that her husband Denis, who died aged 71 last year, had a fortune in savings which she could get a share of.
Mrs Webb spotted the possibility of being duped and the family have now reported it to police in a bid to warn other people in the area.
Nigel Webb said: “My mum is in her mid-sixties and she spotted the fact that it might be a scam. After seeing the letter it looks as though the fake company, which is some bank from abroad, is actually targeting people who have recently lost relatives.
“It is completely disgusting that anybody would do this, our family is still grieving after losing dad to an illness last year. Whoever sent this out must have no morals whatsoever.”
According to police, the offending letter was from a man purporting to be from Hong Kong. It suggests that he was dealing with massive financial investments for Denis who had supposedly left a large sum of money in limbo.
The letter suggests that by utilising the identity of the lady’s deceased husband a deal can be done whereby she will inherit half of this substantial sum of money.
It asks her to be discreet and not to divulge it or its contents to anybody. The letter does not ask for money but it does ask for her to make contact with the sender.
Inspector Kevin Wakefield said: “We warn people receiving any letters of this type to disregard them and certainly not to part with any money. If they are unsure, they should contact police for advice – do not become a victim.”
Saffron Walden PCSO Sharon Cooper also urged people to be wary: “From previous instances of this type, the next step would be for the originator to ask for a sum of money to be paid as a goodwill gesture to ensure the full monies can be claimed and then passed on.
“If this is done, then that will be the last the person hears. It is one of a number of scams currently in circulation and most target either the elderly or the vulnerable.”
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