RETIRED Murwillumbah man Eric Gresham was stunned when he received a letter in the mail, apparently from barristers in Spain, suggesting he could share in more than $7million left by a client of the same surname.
Wary that it was a scam, Mr Gresham showed his neighbour who researched the matter on the internet and found clear warnings about "scammers passing themselves off as Spanish lawyers" seeking contact bank details or an initial upfront payment.
In case others in the Tweed are receiving similar letters, he wanted to warn people to steer clear of the offers.
"When you read through it you know it's a scam," said Mr Gresham, who pointed out there would be thousands of other Greshams closer to Spain in England.
"I've got relatives over in England and you'd think they would go there first," he added.
The letter supposedly from barristers San Alberto and Associates of Madrid says the writer was the personal attorney to the late Lyman Gresham but more than seven million Euros would be forfeited unless he could contact a next of kin.
"I am actually asking for your consent to present you to the bank and the next of kin/beneficiary of my late client's fund, since you have the same last name," said the writer, supposedly Barrister Santiago Alberto.
Mr Gresham said his neighbour researched the internet and found many scammers try to pass themselves off as legitimate Spanish law firms or lawyers.
The warning website claimed most were Nigerians based in Spain, adding that they are among "the best educated elite and their command of English is often superb".
It warned the fraudsters will "contact you by cold call, email or letter "offering services such as claiming the recipient is "the only beneficiary of a Spanish inheritance from some distant and unknown relative in Spain that has passed away".