Scam warning over tsunami disaster

A SICK scam designed to trick caring people out of money has become the latest con to stem from the tsunami disaster in Asia.An email claiming to be from a man who has lost both of his parents in the disaster was sent to the Evening Star this week.

A SICK scam designed to trick caring people out of money has become the latest con to stem from the tsunami disaster in Asia.

An email claiming to be from a man who has lost both of his parents in the disaster was sent to the Evening Star this week. In the email, the man, who calls himself Marco Nula, claims his parents lived in the Bande Aceh province of Indonesia.

The region is one of the worst hit by the tsunami and entire villages have been wiped out.

The email then claims both parents are of Dutch heritage as a result of colonial times and had a vast sum of money in a Dutch bank.


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It asks for the recipients personal details and address and if they will help recover the money in exchange for a percentage of it.

But Jill Korwin, of Suffolk Trading Standards said it is an "out and out con" and advised anyone who receives it should delete it straight away.

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She said: "On first impressions it looks like a version of the Nigerian scam we are all familiar with.

"If it is indeed a con then it is nothing more than a cruel trick.

"It is cleverly designed to prey on both our generosity and our desire to help the victims of the tsunami.

"Conmen and hoaxers are always the first to take advantage of the suffering of others and the generosity of the public and they have no scruples in turning a worldwide disaster to their own profit.

"The best advice from trading standards is to delete this message."

Ms Korwin advised anyone who wanted to contribute to the aid effort could donate through the official Disasters Emergency Committee website or helpline.

Anyone who does receive this or another other similar email can contact Trading Standards on 01473 584358.

WEBLINK: www.dec.org.uk

HELPLINE: 0870 60 60 900

Essex Police yesterday issued warnings about bogus charity collectors who claimed to be raising money for the disaster appeal.

Fake collection envelopes had been left at some homes in Colchester and two men were helping police with their enquiries.

Have you been targeted by bogus charity workers? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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