Warning about fraud letters that use the name of Mizuho Bank

Mizuho Financial Group is aware of that from time to time, fraudsters will send out letters, faxes and emails targeting residents in the United Kingdom and Europe, using the name of Mizuho Financial Group Companies in an attempt to entice them into a type of advance fee fraud known as an “Inheritance Fraud”.
The aim of this inheritance fraud is to entice the victim into making a substantial upfront payment (often tens of thousands of GB Pounds), by claiming that they will receive a substantial multi–million US Dollar inheritance. The fraudsters will claim that these “advance fees” are required to pay legal and administration costs or death duties, before the alleged inheritance can be released.
How to identify the fraud communications:
The content of the fraudulent communications (sent either as a letter, email or fax) will often appear in one of the following forms:
1.The communication claims to be from a Mizuho Financial Group company and will state that the recipient has been identified as the next–of–kin of a deceased customer who held a multi–million US Dollar account. The communication will often state that the recipient has to attend Mizuho Financial Group’s offices (either in Tokyo or Hong Kong) within 14 days in order to be able to claim this money, but will include an offer to arrange the appointment of a local solicitor/lawyer to act for them.
2.The author claims to be the employee of another Japanese bank* , who will claim that a deceased customer with the same family name as the recipient held a multi–million US Dollar account with Mizuho Financial Group. The author will claim that they can access this money, if the recipient agrees to (fraudulently) pose as the next of kin of the deceased person.
(*Shoko Chukin Bank’s name has been used in the examples notified to Mizuho Financial Group)
Both types of letters may also contain one or more of the common details:
The deposit value is often stated as being $8.5million or $18.5 million US Dollars.
The first name/given name of the deceased has sometimes been given as either “Hubert” or “Duncan”.
If the communication claims to be from Mizuho Financial Group, it will often claim to be from the “Foreign Operations Department”, based either in Tokyo or Hong Kong.
If you are a UK resident who receives an unexpected or unsolicited communication of this sort, please treat it with caution.
What you should do if you receive one of these communications:
Do not respond to any of the email addresses, telephone or fax numbers enclosed in the communications:
UK residents who are concerned that they might have been a victim of fraud can report the matter and seek further advice from Action Fraud, a service run by the UK Government’s National Fraud Authority. Action Fraud can be contacted by telephone on 0300 123 2040, or by visiting their website www.actionfraud.org.uk
Non UK residents should contact the Police Authority or Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) within their country of residence.
In the event you have a particular concern about receiving a letter or email that uses the name of Mizuho Financial Group, you may wish to send your enquiry by email to: ldn.compliance@mhcb.co.uk; or by writing to the London Branch of Mizuho Bank Ltd (marked for the attention of the Compliance Department).