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Fetcham woman warns over scam letter

By This is Surrey  |  Posted: November 20, 2008

Beware: Ruth Aldridge with the scam letter she received

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An alert woman is warning people to remain on their guard against an international fraud gang after she was sent a suspiciously generous letter from a "bank".

Ruth Aldridge, from Fetcham, received the letter – which was on headed paper and claiming to be from Casa de Banco Santander – at the end of last month.

The letter said it was from the credit department, and asked for Ms Aldridge's personal details in exchange for a large amount of money.

In the letter the sender, a Mr Clas Goran, claims he has found the account details of someone with the same name who the bank believes to be related to Ms Aldridge.

It says the supposed relative, who remains unnamed, has left more than 2.8 million euros – about £2.4 million – which will go to the bank unless it is claimed.

The letter reads: "My proposal to you is that I want you to cooperate with me in seeing that these funds of the deceased do not go down the drain.

"I think it would be more beneficial to you and I who, at the end of the day, will use the funds to affect the lives of other people, as well as close family members and well-wishers."

It then asks for personal details, including a telephone number and address.

Ms Aldridge saw through the letter straight away and contacted both Surrey Police and her bank, Abbey National. But she is warning others to be alert.

She said: "The top of the letter was in the usual red heading which made it look like it was the real thing.

"But, as I started to read it, it just didn't add up. It is most unlikely that there are any Aldridges in Spain."

"But I think that some people are taken in by it otherwise they wouldn't do it. I expect the next thing they would have asked for is my bank details or money.

"I want to warn people who might be taken in by this."

Just last month Surrey Police sent out warnings to people about phone calls or letters telling them they had won money from Spanish or international lotteries.

In May, an elderly lady from Leatherhead sent four separate sums of money totalling thousands of pounds to Spain after being told she had won the lottery in Costa Rica.

Surrey Police believe the letter sent to Ruth Aldridge is part of a similar scam.

Detective Chief Inspector William Lyle said: "This is a problem across the whole of the UK, with offences usually originating abroad.

"Our Force Intelligence Bureau is collating information on incidents in Surrey and will liaise with law enforcement agencies that have responsibility for tackling international organised crime."

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