TORONTO (JTA) — A scam targeting Jewish Holocaust survivors in Canada claims they are entitled to a share of a $75 million pot and asks for a large fee in return.
Letters delivered to survivors in Alberta and Ontario claim they are entitled to funds from the “Holocaust Claims Processing Office” and request personal banking information.
The letters promise the funds will be transferred to a “secure numbered account” and ask for 60 percent of the sum as a fee, the National Post newspaper reported.
“I have all secret details and necessary contacts for claim of the funds without any hitch,” reads the letter signed by a Larry Dubali, identified as a senior partner of Tenure Consulting in New York.
Reached by the Post last week, Dubali, who seemed to speak with an African accent, hung up without answering questions. The phone number and address on his letters are associated with complaints about telephone frauds, the Post noted.
“It’s so clear that this is a scam,” said Sara Saber-Freedman, executive vice president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which has notified the police, phone company and Internet provider about the scheme. “It’s just vile. This is just odious.”
She also called Dubali and noted he seemed to speak with a West African accent.
The Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants organization sent letters to rabbis and community leaders warning about the scam.
“This is an obvious attempt to defraud members of the Jewish community and should be ignored,” the letter said.
“It’s obscene as far as I’m concerned,” said the organization’s president, Sidney Zoltak.