A Which? member recently received a letter claiming to be from a prominent Chinese bank. Are you one of the many people who’s received this near-identical scam?
The letter claims that a customer of the bank has passed away, leaving behind $11m in assets.
Allegedly, the deceased has the same surname as the target, with the letter claiming that, as they left no heir, you stand to inherit half the money, with the bank manager taking the other 50%.
The member who pointed this scam out to us knew it was obviously attempted fraud, but the key concern for them was that they had been targeted using their real name and email address.
Protecting your personal info
Several readers have reported receiving near-identical letters. The common theme? They all have common English surnames, so scammers could well be targeting them for this reason, as it makes their story seem more plausible.
The scammers could have taken the personal information from an open register, so we’d advise people to consider opting out of the open electoral roll or the telephone directory if they’re concerned. Also, regularly check your credit report for unfamiliar products or searches.
Always remember to look out for your family and friends, too. A vulnerable recipient could be tricked into giving away money, personal or financial data.
Want to do more to help fights scams and look out for others? You can sign our scams campaign here, while Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standartds (NTS) site with resources to help spot fraud and warn others.
Have you received this scam letter through the post? If so, did you report it?