Son's warning: 91-year-old targeted in £30k inheritance scam
A son has joined Lincolnshire Trading Standards to issue an inheritance scam warning - after his 91-year-old father was targeted.
Hans Vestbirk, from Horncastle, spoke out after his parents received a letter asking for cash to process a £37,000 windfall.
Mr Vestbirk is keen to warn others to be aware of the dangers of scam letters after he intercepted one from a bogus mystery benefactor.
"My father, who is 91-years-old, received a letter from a solicitor claiming that he had been left more than £30,000 inheritance," he said.
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"The letter looked official and it was sent with a copy of the benefactor's will.
"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 them to follow that it was a scam.
"To receive the supposed inheritance, they had to send a sum of £35 to administer the payment.
"The section of the will which had been included did not highlight the financial details.
"It 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.
"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.
"I now have to intercept their mail and be the one to break the news that the fortune they are being told is theirs is all a scam."
Senior Lincolnshire County Council trading standards officer Angela Kane said: "Scam mail is an issue which affects hundreds if not thousands of homes in the county.
"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 123 2040.