AN ARBROATH man is concerned that some people may be taken in by a new means of parting them from their money which arrived through his letterbox last week.
Mr Colwyn Lewis (75), of Hill Road, received a small parcel from China inviting him to return a sample to a Postbox in The Netherlands for ‘DNA blueprinting’.
The accompanying letter opens: “Dear friend, This may be a crucial and very lucrative day in your life.”
Enclosed, it says, is a “free DNA collection kit and secure reply envelope”.
The letter goes on: “Most important is what your exclusive DNA blueprint will reveal to our scientists - and upon analyzation, moreover, how your life may be launched to exhilarating new thresholds of success and achievement empowering you with a built-in ‘edge’ to prosper and excel in ways you never dreamed possible.”
The recipient is, almost incidentally, asked for a payment of £39.99 which includes “analysis, reporting and a personalised report sent to you by sealed, discreet mail.”
Mr Lewis, who served in the Fleet Air Arm branch of the Royal Navy and was at Condor, says he is worried that some people may be taken in and pay the £39.99.
However, he believes that is the thin end of the wedge.
He explained: “I mentioned to my daughter, who is a solicitor, that I had received this letter and her advice was to dispose of it immediately and certainly not to reply.
“She said that one aspect of the scam is that these people write back to you some time later saying that they have researched your DNA and have found that you are a relative of someone who has died leaving a large, unclaimed estate.
“You think all your Christmases have come at once and when they ask for a processing fee or for your bank details so they can forward your share of the estate you send it to them.
“In no time at all, your bank account is empty.”
A spokesperson for Angus Council Trading Standards said: “This scam is an attempt to firstly acquire a £40 fee, which is highly unlikely to be used to do any analysis. DNA test kits with analysis typically start at £100. No doubt the requests for money will not stop at £40.
“The senders are likely to be an organised crime group which has the resources to target a large number of people in this manner.
“Our advice would clearly be not to send any money. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is! If anyone does receive such a kit, please contact us directly on 01307 473917 or via the council’s ACCESSline on 08452 777778 and we would be happy to advise.”