LINCOLNSHIRE Trading Standards has urged people to be on the lookout for an inheritance scam that has already targeted others in the county.
Dozens of residents have received letters from China telling them that they have been left large amounts of money and shares by a long-lost relative.
To release the inheritance, the unsuspecting victim is asked to carry out some instructions, which include paying an upfront fee or calling a premium-rate number.
The value of the inheritance varies but has been as much as £16m.
Trading Standards officials have been made aware of almost 20 incidents in just two days. They are concerned that more people could receive the letter and that some may believe it.
Mark Keal from Lincolnshire Trading Standards said: “These fraudsters are relying on people being taken in by the exciting thought of coming into some money.
“The intention is to persuade someone to send cash on the promise of a larger return. But no genuine organisation would ask you to do that.
“In many ways, this is an obvious scam. But it will only take one trusting person to make it worthwhile for the fraudsters.
“If you receive the letter, please just throw it away.”
Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a scam or would like advice on an issue like this can contact Lincolnshire Trading Standards on 01522 782341 or at email@example.com.