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Monday January 13th, 2014

Posted at 1:30pm

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RCMP in Windsor are warning about an ongoing letter scam that continues to target area residents.

Sergeant Peter Koersvelt says the fraud has been prevalent in the Windsor area for a number of years but the influx of complaints has surged in the past several months.

The fraudulent letters state that a distant relative has recently passed away leaving a sizeable estate that remains unclaimed and no other relatives can be identified.

The deceased identified in the letter possesses the same last name as the addressee.

If contacted, police say the fraudster will solicit funds from the addressee in order to secure the release of the estate.

Under the scam, the “estate” is never released and the addressee is duped out of their money.

Police say the letters originate overseas and a large number of the letters have indicated a return address in Spain.

“These type of frauds prey on people’s emotions,” says Inspector Serge Cote of the Windsor Detatchment. “People become victims because the fraudsters create a sense of urgency for significant financial gain.”

RCMP say the settlement of a legitimate estate should never require the advancement of monies to secure it.

If you have received a similar letter or know of someone who has, contact your local police, the Windsor RCMP at 519-967-4353 ext: 255 or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

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