St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara warns: Donít be fooled by the latest scam e-mail or letter from a phony bank president
If you get a letter from a “bank president” you never heard of who is willing to give you a share of the estate of “a deceased client with a similar last name,” delete the e-mail message or throw the letter away, warns St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
“This is the latest variation in an old scam that promises you money if you send the fraud artist some money first. Don’t do it. Your money will be gone, and there’s probably no way for us to get it back for you,” Sheriff Mascara said.
The writer of the bogus message urges that you not reveal the scheme to anyone else and to get in touch at once. “That’s because the con man behind this wants to separate you from your money before you realize you’re being defrauded,” Sheriff Mascara said.
The Sheriff also warns not to fall for a variation of this scam in which the victim recieves checks to deposit in his or her bank account and is asked to send a check or money order for a smaller amount to someone.
Invariably, the checks you have deposited in your account are worthless, and you will be responsible for any bad check deposited in your account, Sheriff Mascara said.
For information on how to avoid becoming the victim of a scam like this, Sheriff Mascara invites the public to contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 871-5303.
“There are two important things to keep in mind,” the Sheriff said. “First, if you never heard of the person calling you, mailing or e-mailing you, hang up the phone, throw away the letter or delete the e-mail message. Second, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. You earned your money the hard way. Don’t lose it the easy way.”
Here is the text of the bogus e-mail circulating on the Treasure Coast:
(Fraudulent bank officer e-mail message follows.)
I am David Thorburn Chief Operating Officer, Clydesdale Bank. I am getting in touch with you regarding the estate of a deceased client with similar last name and an investment placed under our banks management 8 years ago.
I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail. I contact you independently and no one is informed of this communication.
In mid 2001, he asked that the money be liquidated because he needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payments in here in the United Kingdom. He directed that I liquidate the funds and deposit it with a security firm. I informed him that Clydesdale Bank would have to make special arrangements to have this done and in order not to circumvent due process, the bank would have to make a 9.5 % deduction from the funds to cater for banking and statutory charges. He complained about the charges but later came around when I explained to him the complexities of the task he was asking of us. Cash movement across boarders has become especially strict since the incidents of 9/11. I contacted my affiliate and made the funds available to the security firm. I undertook all the processes and made sure I followed his precise instructions to the letter and had the funds deposited with the security firm. The Security Firm is a specialist private firm that accepts deposits from high net worth individuals and blue chip corporations that handle valuable products or undertake transactions that need immediate access to cash. This small and highly private organization is familiar especially to the highly placed and well-connected organizations. In line with instructions, the money was deposited with the security firm.
However Security firm got in touch with us last year that this money has not been claimed. On further enquiries we found out that Anthony Died of a heart attack in Cannes, South of France, which means he died intestate. He has no next of kin.
What I propose is that since I have exclusive access to his file, you will be made the beneficiary of these funds. My bank will contact you informing you that money has been willed to you. On verification, which will be the details I make available to my bank, my bank will instruct the headquarters to make payments to you. You do not have to have known him. I know this might be a bit heavy for you but please trust me on this. For all your troubles I propose that we split the money in half. In the banking circle this happens every time. The other option is that the money will revert back to the state.
Nobody is getting hurt; this is a lifetime opportunity for us. I hold the KEY to these funds, and as a British National we see so much cash and funds being re-assigned daily. I would want us to keep communication for now strictly by email Please, again, note I am a family man; I have a wife and children. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to t the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have learned from my private banking clients. Do not betray my confidence. If we can be of one accord, we should act swiftly on this. Please pardon my writing mistakes. Please get back to me immediately.
I await your response.
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Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.