The Astoria Police Department is warning people about an Internet scam in which someone pretending to be a lawyer contacts people by e-mail and tells them they're the sole heir to a large estate left to them by a relative.

The intended victim is told that the only way to get the money is to forward their address, telephone number, driver's license number, social security number and other information to the attorney, who will later provide information about how to claim the estate.

Investigation has determined that the Internet address is a public terminal and the IP address is not disclosed sufficiently to be tracked, according to Astoria Police, who warn the public that death and estate notifications are not conducted on the Internet and people solicited should not respond. In all cases, great caution should be exercised before providing any personal information to an Internet source. When in doubt about the legitimacy of the person requesting information, always inquire further.

For more information, call Astoria Police Chief Rob Deu Pree, 338-6411, ext. 1.

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