Lincolnshire County Council is warning residents of the dangers of scam letters claiming that the recipients are owed thousands of pounds in inheritance.
A resident from Horncastle told the Council that his 91-year-old father received a letter from a solicitor claiming he hand been left over £30,000 inheritance from a mystery benefactor.
Hans Vestbirk said: “My parents were incredibly excited when they told me they had come into some money.
“I asked to see the letter and I could tell from the language, and the process they were asking you to follow, that it was a scam.”
In order to receive the supposed inheritance the letter was asking Mr Vestbirk’s father to send £35 to administer the payment.
“The section of the will which had been included did not highlight the financial details but instead was a long, waffling insight into the mystery benefactor’s life, and why they had decided to leave such a sum to people they had never met,” Mr Vestbirk continued.
“Both my parents receive a lot of scam mail and the letters always suggest that they have won or inherited lots of money, but to get it the companies require some payment in advance.
“My parents believe some of the scam mail to be genuine, and are really over the moon to be told they have won money.
“I now have to intercept the mail and be the one to break the news that the fortune they are being told is theirs is all a scam. If I didn’t do that - who knows what would have happened.
“I am sick of rogue companies taking advantage of my parents.
“I look out for them, and they now know to check the letters with me before they try and claim any ‘prizes’. Other elderly people might be more vulnerable - I don’t want them to get scammed.
Senior trading standards office at LCC Angela Kane said: “Scam mail is an issue which affects hundreds if not thousands of homes in Lincolnshire.
“It remains largely unreported and its consequences can be devastating.
“Hopefully by hearing Mr Vestbirk’s story, people will think twice before sending money away in response to these scam letters.”
If you or your family receive scam mail, report it to Trading Standards on 0845 404 0506 and Action Fraud on 0300 or visit the Action Fraud website: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/