08:00 Monday 18 November 2013

Police issue warning over letter cash 'scam'

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

POLICE have issued a warning after an elderly couple in Burton avoided becoming victims of an apparent scam.

The couple were sent a letter purporting to be from the International Financial Transfer Branch claiming they were the ‘beneficiaries’ of £66,500.

The letter stated that all they needed to do was provide their bank details and date of birth and the funds would be transferred over.

The couple, who asked not to be named, were instructed to send the completed letter back within 10 days or risk losing out on the cash, as three other beneficiaries had been said to have done.

The letter did not contain any contact details apart from a return envelope addressed to Hungary, while the Mail was unable to trace the International Financial Transfer Branch or the Centre of Allowances, Subventions and Heritage (CASH), who were also said to be involved in the process.

The couple were immediately sceptical of the letter and want to warn other people who could be fooled into believing the claim is legitimate.

This is not the first time letters of this nature have been sent.

Bassetlaw District Council, in Nottinghamshire, issued a warning regarding the International Financial Transfer Board, which was acting in a similar manner.

Staffordshire Police said that letters of this nature are almost always scams.

A spokesman said: “This is almost certainly a scam and you should ignore it without evidence to the contrary.

“If it is to get your bank details the scam is known as ‘phishing’, and the account will probably be emptied.

“Never give out your personal details, bank account details or send any money to anyone unless you have checked and are doubly certain it is genuine.

“Many people have been defrauded out of a lot of money. No matter how official it sounds check it out using a totally independent source or just leave well alone. These people prey on the likelihood that you will be greedy and aren’t going to look at the request in a common sense way.”

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