Scam warning sparks doubt over bank letter
A Kilmersdon man has added his voice to warnings about being duped by scammers after he received a letter claiming he was due a share of an inheritance from a relative who had died in Hong Kong.
Carer Simon Riddle, 40, was surprised to get letter purporting to be from a Hong Kong bank claiming he could be entitled to 30 per cent of an estate left by the relative if he forwarded the company his mobile telephone number.
But after spotting a Somerset Guardian story warning readers about a lottery scam, Mr Riddle said the alarm bells sounded.
He said: "It was so convincing and was on official notepaper claiming to be from this bank in Hong Kong.
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"When I googled the business on the internet I found that the email address and other details were wrong."
The letter told him that his relative Aurill Riddle had died more than 15 years ago and he was entitled to some of the estate.
But while Mr Riddle says he might like to think he had a rich relative that he could make a claim against, unfortunately he hasn't.
He said: "The letter was on A4 paper and told me that for a fee I could claim 30 per cent of the estate. I am amazed how easy it is for someone to put my name against something like this."
Mr Riddle said he has been told that scammers got their victims' addresses from details published in electoral registers.
He said: "I have lived in Kilmersdon all my life and my family are here.
"We don't know anyone in Hong Kong, as much as we could have done with the money."
Mr Riddle has now burned the letter.
Anyone who has been scammed or defrauded, or has received an email or letter they think is trying to do so, can report the matter to the UK national fraud and internet reporting centre.
Its website is www.action fraud.police.uk.