Posted at 5:00 am
A surprise awaited a Westmount resident in his home mailbox this week: an “opportunity” to collect a $30 million inheritance.
Supplied by Canada Post, this “special offer” came in a stamped envelope with a detachable sleeve bearing the logo and name of a major financial institution.
If the Westmount resident wasn’t fooled, he fears that less “observant” people will be trapped by the “quality” of the mailing and its level of sophistication.
“The address is perfect. The letter is perfect. The electronic signature is colored. There is a watermark logo. gotta do it! It was getting serious. For some people this letter will be very credible. We’re on a different level. This is hand sewn scam! he says.
“It looks super official. I have already received bank statements in the same format. »
This Westmount resident believes he has been the victim of a breach of confidentiality in a database because the writer of the letter has his first initial, last name and full address.
“However, upon reading I realize he’s missing my first name to trick me into total identity theft. Once he has my first name, cell phone number and email address, he can open credit card accounts,” he says.
As a target of fraud, he estimates that potentially thousands of people could receive a similar letter. “Imagine the cost of postage…” he says.
The famous offer
“This letter may come as a surprise considering there has never been any formal communication between us in the past,” read the broadcast, signed by Andy McGuire, who poses as Allied Irish Bank’s financial services manager. an Irish financial institution.
“I am writing to you regarding the estate of ‘Paul J. Boucher’, a deceased client with the same last name as you. After a thorough background check and careful consideration, I have made the decision to contact you,” the letter reads.
“Joining you to be the beneficiary of £19.5million [30 millions de dollars canadiens] from the estate of the deceased because you have the same surname, although there is no official will of the deceased.”
“During my research, I made sure to contact someone with the necessary intelligence, compatibility and competence to understand this business proposition. Completion of this legacy transaction requires your cooperation and my expertise. »
The author of the letter claims to have been in the banking industry for over 25 years. “You will not be able to do this alone, but with my direct help. I will walk you through this process. If this proposal goes against your moral ethics or you have no interest, please accept my apologies and destroy this letter,” it added.
The author of the letter concludes by stating that he is currently in Toronto to attend a conference on financial and regulatory compliance and is taking this opportunity to send the letter, leaving a phone number with the area code matching that of Northern Ontario corresponds to .
“Once I have confirmed your interest, I will send you the information necessary to carry out the operation for our benefit. If you accept this proposal, I request that you contact me at my North American number or send me your full name, cell phone number, home phone number, fax number to the email address at the bottom of the letter to allow for the preparation of the necessary documents. »
A return of mail fraud?
Asked to comment on the case, Canada Post claims it had no leads as to the content and was therefore obliged to send it.
Spokeswoman Valérie Chartrand says she has no further information about the Post’s fraudulent activities.
“The person who received the letter should contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. We are committed to participating and working together in any investigation,” she said.
This is a scam that originally came through the mail and quietly migrated to email with the advent of the internet, says Emeline Manson, fraud prevention and cybersecurity trainer. She finds that mail is less suspicious than email. “And scammers take advantage of that,” she says.
“Fraud is not new, but the mode of transmission seems to be adapting over time. Fraudsters need to realize that they have less success via email, no matter how aware they are, and resort to the good old method of mail, where awareness no longer exists. »
“The first thing that excites me about this shipment, she says, is the fact that it comes free with Canada Post. If it came straight from Ireland it wouldn’t be. And all this talk is too good to be true. The request for confidentiality, the recipient’s incomplete first name, email address in Gmail, etc. »
- Number of fraud reports submitted to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center in 2022 (as of June 30). In 2021, the center had listed 106,974 reports.
Canadian Anti-Fraud Center
- $242 million
- The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center reports fraud-related financial losses of US$242 million in 2022 (as of June 30). The total for 2021 was 381 million.
Canadian Anti-Fraud Center