POLICE chiefs are warning people to remain on their guard against bogus inheritance scams.
Often the hoax starts with a fraudulent letter arriving from overseas stating that a large amount of money had been left in the recipient’s name from a deceased client.
These types of letters are known as advance fee frauds where the offender targets a victim to make an advance or upfront payment for goods or financial gain.
The promised money then never materialises and often the victim is asked for a further payment.
Detective Constable Julie Wheeldon said: “There are legitimate companies who make a living by tracking down heirs but this is not how they go about it. “If you are asked to pay various fees to release your non-existent inheritance, it is very likely to be bogus so do not to hand over your bank details and stop any contact with the fraudsters.
“Thankfully there are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of this type of fraud such as looking out for the traits of the letter including poor grammar and spelling mistakes.
“Just remember, if something sounds too good to be true then it is more than likely to be bogus so always seek advice if you are unsure.
“If you’re victim of inheritance fraud always report it and speak to your bank immediately if you think you have jeopardised your account details.”
More information on the scam is available by calling 101 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk