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Inheritance Scam

An inheritance scam is a specific type of scam that uses the tale of a person who is now deceased and has left their estate to the intended victim of the scam. The scam usually begins with an email or letter telling the person that they are a distant relative of someone they never heard of. That person recently died and the law firm sending the email or letter has been trying to find relatives to receive the inheritance. Beware of any “inheritance” about someone you’ve never heard of.

The scammer wants you to believe that a distant relative bequeathed (willed) you thousands of dollars, but before you can have it you need to pay the fees. This is too good to be true, but they convince you that you are going to have a life of ease and comfort if you only pay them upfront. They also want your banking information so they can do a “direct deposit.” Don’t fall for this scheme.

Click the play button below to watch a video example:
Click here to play the YouTube Video for this Senior Fraud Alert Scam Lesson
The first step is to identify the fraud. In the video above, were you able to hear the clues in the story and detect the Inheritance Scam? The next step is to prevent the scammer from victimizing you or others. If you encounter a similar situation, use these tools to protect yourself from this type of fraud.
Inheritance Scam Clues
  • You don’t have to pay for an inheritance. Lawyers charge the estate, not you. Even if the relative died in a foreign country, you will not be charged to inherit the money. If they are asking for money upfront, it’s a scam.
  • Look at the language in the letter, does it sound like it is from a lawyer?
  • The scammer might ask for: taxes, fees, finders’ fees, inheritance fees. None of these are something you will be charged for if you are the beneficiary of an inheritance.
Inheritance Scam Defence
  • First line of defense is to ignore it.
  • Never provide any personal or banking information.
  • Talk to other family members. Check the heritage sites to see what information is on there.
  • Don’t pay for anything upfront in the hope of receiving an inheritance.
  • Ask for the name of the funeral home and call them.
Now it’s your turn!


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