This scam begins with the consumer receiving a letter, email, or a fax from someone with a very confidential business proposal. The letter states that an individual, worth millions of dollars, has died without leaving a will.
The individual contacting you is trying to keep the money from reverting back to what they tell you is a corrupt government and requests assistance from the consumer. The victim is asked to provide an account number where the money can be transferred, and in exchange for this “service,” the victim will make a profit
It does happen, but not very often. So if you receive a notification in a email or regular mail from an “estate locator” saying that there is an unclaimed inheritance waiting for you, BEWARE & PREPARED. You could be the target of a slick con artist.
Thousands of individuals with the same last name receive notification that inheritance funds have been located in their names. Many of these recipients are lured into mailing in a fee. That fee can be $30 dollars and often more for an estate report, which will supposedly explain where the inheritance is located and how it can be claimed. The promoter may also offer to process your claim for a fee
In some cases a check often later is sent to the victim for deposit into their bank account. Then the victim is instructed to send funds back to the originator of the letter via money transfer agency, money order, or wire, in increments under $10,000, and keep the “extra” money in their account. Days later, the deposited check is returned-counterfeit.
We can all protect ourselves by checking other sources before sending funds in response to an “estate locator” solicitation. Checking with relatives about recent deaths in the family is one approach. In addition, you can check with your State Attorney General’s office to see if there have been any investigations into the activities of the firm or person making the solicitation. You can continue your research by checking with your local Better Business Bureau, and even the U.S. Postal Inspection Service if you‘ve been contacted through your mail services.
In my own experience I have learned that legitimate law firms, executors of wills, and others who have been named to distribute estate funds to rightful heirs normally do not request you to pay a fee to find out about your share of the estate. If you have been the victim of a phony estate locator scheme, or if you have received a suspicious solicitation in the mail stating an unclaimed inheritance awaits you, report your experience to your local postmaster or nearest Postal Inspector. Also pay close attention to this when dealing with the con artist that perform these tasks through the internet.
Write articles and share your experience with others so we can all be made aware of the scam artist out there.
If it’s too good to be true. Ask yourself:
Why do they want this transaction kept confidential?
Why would the writer want to share the money?
Why do they want some of the money returned to them?
From my own experience I believe that in today’s world and economy we want the best and to provide the best for ourselves, family, and friends. And for that reason individuals are prayed upon by the con artist. Just remember in situations like this in “Inheritance Scams”, as I stated before BEWARE & BE PREPARED.
For further comments feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my toll free number 888-323-8916 option 101.