New Zealand lawyers are being faxed letters which purport to be from an Edward Rae, a "partner" in a firm of solicitors at various locations around the world.
The communications are an attempt to steal money. They use a variation of a well-worn scam which pretends the name of the person to whom it is sent is the same or similar to the unlocated claimants of a large estate.
The letters, which are personally addressed, begin "My name is Edward Rae; I am a partner at [name and location of a lawyer firm].
The name of "Edward Rae" may change, as does the name of the firm of solicitors he "works" at.
One fax, purporting to be from Winchesters Solicitors in London (another purports to be from Edward Management LLP in Canada), states:
"It may surprise you to receive this letter from me, since there has been no previous correspondence between us. There is an unclaimed 'permanent life insurance policy' held by our deceased client.
"The transaction pertains to an unclaimed 'Payable-on-Death' ('POD') savings monetary deposit in the sum of Nine Million Eight Hundred and twenty Thousand United States Dollars ($9,820,000) with a Reputable Bank. The policy holder was one of our clients, Mr Alan [same last name as the New Zealand lawyer recipient], who worked with Energy Company in Canada. He died in an accident in Tornonto Canada, Nine years ago. Since His death no one has come forward for the claim and all our efforts to locate His relatives have proved unsucessful."
"Edward Rae" goes on to offer to share 90% of the policy with the New Zealand lawyer if he or she pretends to be entitled to the estate. Because "Edward Rae" is a deeply moral person, he says "I wish to point out that I want 10% of this money to be shared among charity organisations".
In spite of the claim that "this is 100% risk free", New Zealand lawyers who receive similar faxes would be well advised to shred them.