Residents have been warned about a scam that has attempted to trick a number of local residents in recent weeks.

Trading standards officers have told residents to be careful about the scam, which takes the form of a letter.

It claims to be from an investment manager who has discovered that the recipient is the survivor of a dead man who left a significant sum of money to them.

The letter is allegedly sent by Aubrey Lam, although other names may be used, and, while containing no sender’s address, does feature a line of Oriental characters across the top, along with a fax number and email address.

In an effort to lend credence to the message, the purportedly dead investor shares the same surname as the letter’s recipient.

The letter finishes with the request: “Kindly keep this communication confidential due to its sensitivity, as we do not want this inheritance to fall in the wrong hands.”

Councillor Simon Hoar, cabinet member for community safety, said: “This is not a new scam, it’s one that has cropped up before and that will, doubtless, surface again, if not exactly in this form, then another not entirely dissimilar.

“It’s important that people don’t take it at face value and get suckered into providing personal information, such as bank account details, that could quickly drain their savings dry.

“If anybody receives one of these letters, first of all they should not reply to it. What they should do is keep it somewhere safe and alert the authorities.”

Anybody who receives what they believe to be a fraudulent letter or email should call the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 0845 404 0506.