Barrow great-grandmother, aged 100, is latest target of letters scam
Last updated at 16:54, Thursday, 22 August 2013
A 100-YEAR-OLD great-grandmother has become the latest target of a scam letter being sent around properties in the area.
Annie Marshall, of Whinlatter Drive, Barrow, received a letter on Tuesday which told her she was entitled to a multi-million pound fortune.
It was sent by a man claiming to be a Chinese investment manager for the “late William Marshall”, however Mrs Marshall, who has three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, doesn’t know anyone by that name.
The Evening Mail is aware of at least nine people who have received a version of the letter, including Councillor Anne Burns who warned residents of the scam last week.
Mrs Marshall’s son John, 66, said: “My mum may be 100 years old but she’s not gullible. It’s absolute garbage.
“I read the story in the Evening Mail and the letter is exactly the same as Anne Burns’.
“My mum took one look at it and knew straight away it was dodgy.
“It’s quite scary that so many people have got it. Not everyone will take it with a pinch of salt like my mum.”
The letter asked Mrs Marshall to split a $17.5m investment left by “William” in a Chinese bank account. It tells her to “keep this communication confidential”.
Bert Gaskell, 77, received an identical letter from a Chung Chaowang saying he was entitled to the huge sum invested by a William Gaskell.
Mr Gaskell, of Skelwith Drive, Barrow, had a brother by the same name who died more than 10 years ago.
He said: “It’s scandalous that they try to do this. There must be some vulnerable people who they do catch out. They try to target older people.
“It’s bad that they try to link it to relatives. I’m OK, but some people would feel hurt by seeing this if they have lost a relative.”
75-year-old Ronald Baxter, of Glenridding Drive, Barrow, also received the letter.
He thought it was obviously a scam due to its many grammatical mistakes.
He said: “If I’m going to be scammed, I would like it to be a bit slicker.”
Residents in Millom have received copies. Kathleen Wright, 64, of Lonsdale Road, said she and other neighbours had been targeted.
Trading Standards are aware that the letter is circulating and are warning residents not to fall victim to it.
A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “Our message to anyone receiving these letters is to never reply.
If you respond you could be sending money or financial details to fraudsters who often target more vulnerable people. As the letters have been circulating in the local area we’d urge people to be on their guard and remind everyone never to give out personal or bank account details to people you don’t know.”
Anybody concerned about scam letters can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk
First published at 16:15, Thursday, 22 August 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
I received one yesterday for my late grandmother for a william orrell... we live in hawcoat area
My husband received one of these letters today. It was fairly obvious from reading it that it is a scam so I rang citizens advice to see if I needed to take the letter to the police. They gave me a number for the action fraud line which is 0300 123 2040. They took the details gave me a reference number and asked me just to keep hold of the letter and if we receive any further communications let them know. What struck me is that the envelope has a royal mail Scan on it so I would have thought the Royal mail would be able to trace the origin wouldn't they from this?
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