Yesterday, a To Do Canada staff member in Toronto received a personalised letter with Canada Post stamp claiming to be from Bank of China’s Hong Kong branch.
The letter is a take on the old Nigerian Prince scam but looks more authentic since it has your name (with first name initial) and complete postal address.
It also promises a share of $46,000,000 USD.
The letter is from a “Bank of China bank manager” who is trying to find inheritors of a wealthy businessman with a “western name” who died in an accident. It goes on to state that the money will have to paid to the Chinese government unless it is claimed soon.
The letter says, “With my position as the Chief financial officer, I will be able to place your name as the Next of Kin/Beneficiary to my late client, and I will prepare the relevant legal documentations that will assist to facilitate the release of the funds to you without any breach of the law as I have worked out all modalities to complete this transaction and assure you that the operation is 100% legal and risk-free if and only you adhere strictly to my instructions.”
The manager also wants 50 per cent share of the money, and only promises you 45 per cent with 5 per cent for expenses incurred for executing the transfer as the letter says, “Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters regarding this issue. Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated bank account we shall share in the ratio of 50% for me, 45% for you while the balance 5% will be set aside for any expenses incurred during the cause of securing this deposit.”
“If my proposal is acceptable to you, kindly reply via my private email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Though the scam is nothing like the letter threatening death in lieu of Bitcoin payment, it has all the markings of an advance fee fraud, and those who respond are sure to be asked some fees along the way.
It also seems that this is not a new scam as similar letters were sent to some households in Britain almost a decade ago.
The staff member has reported the scam to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.