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Beware of the E-Mail Cash Cons

December 22, 2000

CRIMINALS from overseas are sending e-mails to Wiltshire to try to con cash from people, warn police.

Wiltshire Constabulary Fraud Squad says there has been a "marked increase" recently in the circulation of unsolicited mail from West Africa.

Detective Inspector Paul Ginger, of the fraud squad, said: "Churches and charities are being vigorously targeted, with the false promise being made of benefit being accrued due to a fictitious death in that area.

"Businesses are being targeted with the false promise of untold riches being available for the simple task of allowing the senders access to bank accounts in the UK."

Police emphasise that in all probability these messages are totally false and are aimed at making the recipient part with their money for little or no return.

DI Ginger added: "It is imperative that these messages are not answered for the following reasons.

"Firstly, you will be bombarded with further messages and secondly it is likely that your identity will be stolen to be used in the commission of crime ­ such as the securing of loans against your good name without your knowledge."

Police urge people who receive messages of this nature to pass them on to their local police to be forwarded to the fraud squad.

The general rule of thumb is if an offer seems to be the answer to your prayers, it probably isn't, and if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.

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