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How the scam works:

(with video below) You receive a message (usually by e-mail, but sometimes via regular mail or social media as well) from somebody who claims to be the widow, the lawyer, or the children of somebody who recently passed away. It could even come from your pen pal, who has been building a friendship with you in the last few months, but now somebody in his/her family just died. Most often, these deaths have occurred in a plane crash.

The person will tell you that they got an inheritance in a foreign bank and they need help getting the funds out. You'll be asked for help and as a reward you will get 20 or 30% of the total inheritance. You will be provided with an attorney’s number or somebody who will apparently take care of the whole process in that foreign country (usually Netherlands or England) and you are supposed to call him, to arrange the details.

To start the process, the lawyer will need a few fees, which victims usually pay knowing that they will get a good chunk of the inheritance later on. Of course, it never happens.

Watch the video below to see a new twist in the Inheritance Scam, exposed in the news.

Inheritance Scam in the News Video

How to avoid:

Never fall for a request for help in getting money out of a foreign country. The scammers know that a large proportion of the people they contract through e-mail or Facebook messages are not knowledgeable enough to recognize that this is just a scam.

Make your friends and family aware of this scam by sharing it, using the buttons above.

There are 116 comments

  • On Wednesday, October 07, 2015, Bernard wrote:

    My Dear Beloved Friend,

    Thanks for your mail, I am very grateful, I ask please that you take time to read my mail so that you can have full understanding on how we can move ahead in this transaction which Worth $14.2 Million United State Dollars.

    The true detail is that one of our client, who was a former Iraq Ambassador, died in the Iraq war that happened during the Iraq invasion that began on March 20, 2003 and ended on December 18, 2011. Led by the United State to toppled the government of Saddam Hussein as a result of armed conflict. Unfortunately, no body has come forward since to claim this fund despite all our correspondence and emissaries to whom it may concern.

    Consequently and in line with our bank routine checks and balances our management board directed that all dormant deposit for this duration of time be transferred to the treasury as unclaimed deposit.

    Based on my position as the Manager in Charge of Audit of Accounts and Investigation management of Deutsche Bank Plc, I have removed the file from the dormant list files, that is why I want to present you on trust to make the claim as the Business Partner Of Late Mr. Samuel Robert and also the next of Kin to the deceased legitimately with my directions as I have all the required data for the claim.

    For me to be able to present you to the Bank I would like you to furnish me with the following details to enable me effect the necessary change and obtain the official and legal documents that will back up your entitlement as Late Mr. Samuel Robert Business Partner and also the next of kin.

    1. Your full names
    2. Your full address
    3. Your age/occupation
    4. Your direct phone numbers for easy communication

    As soon as I receive the above information, I will forward it to the Director of wire transfer of Deutsche Bank Plc presenting you to them as the Business Partner and also the next of kin..

    Immediately your information is forwarded to Director of wire transfer of Deutsche Bank Plc, the Bank will guide you on how to apply for the claim as the Business Partner and also the next of kin.

    Please know that this transaction is 100% free from any kind of risk.

    Our Sharing Pattern is : 50% For me, 40% for you, the remaining 10% is set aside for any expenses we might incur.

    We are fully together on this, I will guide you on each step to take until we finalize this transaction.

    I await your urgent reply.

    Yours Beloved Friend,

    Mr. James McGill.

    My Direct Phone Number : +44 702 401 0889

  • On Monday, October 05, 2015, Matt McKechnie wrote:


    Hello my Dear Matt Mckechnie ,

    My dear, I know a letter of this magnitude will make anyone worried, but believe me sincerely, contacting you on this issue wasn't by mistake, this is real and never a child's play. I understand your been shocked about my message however be rest assured that my intentions of been in contact with you is not to lie or joke with your person instead my intentions is for us working as a team here in handling this said fund been released to your person as the new beneficiary.

    Firstly, I am assuring you that this transaction is 100% legal and risk free both now and after the claim. I am here as the personal lawyer of the deceased to ensure that we have a successfully claim. Remember that I am part of the proceed and for your information ,I have every documentations and information relating to this deposit as entrusted on me by my late client before his death as his personal Attorney on financial matters and that is why I will stake all within my powers to ensure that we have a hitch free transaction. so my dear do not be afraid about this relationship.

    In a nut shell I will like to briefly summarize what I was saying in my first proposal to you; My deceased Client, (Engr.Dazniev Mckechnie ) He was a big customer of UNION TOGOLAISE DE BANQUE . He operated a coded account which he deposited the total sum of US$11.5 Million and died on a Car Accident. He was a Civil Engineer and Contractor who had handled so many projects here in West Africa. He had a Wife and a Son of course all of them were on the same Vehicle as they were going on vacation. He has a registered company here in Lome-Togo but folded up after his demise.

    My Dear Friend , You actually may or may not be closely related to my Late Client, but Specifically, I got your information during my search for a trust worthy partner who can work with me in receiving the said fund as his next of kin.. I want you to stand as the next of kin to my late client before the Bank so that this fund shall be released and transferred to you .

    Over the years now I have been searching for his close relative and have made contacts to his embassy but my attempts proved futile. While hasting to meet the Bank's stipulated deadline to make this provision which will lead to confiscation upon my failure to comply in relevant to law provision for such unclaimed fund exceeding the ten years stipulation by Law after the demise of my late client until I find your Contact details.. It was not by mistake because I did my thorough research before I contacted you. I will like to speak with you over the telephone so as to hear directly from you to increasing my confidence in you in an assurance for mutual trust, promising not to deny me of my own share soonest this fund is transferred to your custody.

    My Dear, I will like us to discuss this over the telephone for oral clarification. I therefore request that you call me on my telephone number;+228-90-14-49-60.

    My Late Client, has no will but the next of kin was his only Son who died alongside with him and that is why I am mandated by law as his personal lawyer to provide the nearest relation/next of kin which the Bank Board of Directors demands that I provide a foreign next of kin to my late client as enshrined to his deposit agreement.

    The law of inheritance in my country does not make provision for estate management/agreement rather the right is given to the approved heir/beneficiary. And this is why I contacted you to stand as the next of kin to my deceased client so that you will be approved the heir/beneficiary in accordance with the law. Bear in mind that you are going to go through normal and legal inheritance claim procedure so that the claim will be fully legalized and/or notarized. This is why I have to guide you appropriately till we finally have the fund wired into any account of your choice for our sharing.

    I will have to let you know that we need to confidentially and maturely handle this project because of the amount involved. The amount can easily elicit eyebrow from anybody and that is why it must be handled between us and keep it confidential.

    The funds will then be transferred to you as the beneficiary and be shared according to a proposed sharing ratio of 50:50, i.e. 50% for me and 50% for you. I will provide all the necessary legally procured documents to back up any claim we make regarding this process, and will just require your understanding and cooperation as well as maintaining a very high sense of confidentiality until we confirm our fund transfer into your nominated Bank account to enable us achieve success within a legitimate arrangement, eliminating any liability resulting from any breach of the prevalent laws.

    As soon as I have your sincere assurance to keep my share on trust without denying me of my share as soon as this fund is transferred to you, My dear , With your provided data’s , I shall complete and submit a text of application of intent in your Name to the Bank , putting claims for the release and transfer of the said fund to you thereafter i shall avail to meet you in your country for my share and my investment over there in some profitable business your shall recommend to me and you should have it in mind that you will come down here in Lome-Togo west Africa for I and you to sign off the final document for the release of the fund.

    I therefore request that you provide me with this information below so as to enable me submit an application letter to the paying bank here on your behalf for the claim , release and transfer of the fund to you for our sharing and also to increase my confidence on you.

    1. Your Id Card Copy is highly needed.
    2. Your Full Names.
    3. Your Country.
    4. Your Occupation.
    5. Your Telephone number.
    6. Your Marital Status.

    I will appreciate your swift response or call so that we can commence this project officially .

    I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

    Best regards,
    Barrister Okoego Francois, Esq.
    Senior Advocate, International Legal Practitioner
    Chamber Address: 48 Rue du Bolingo in the capital city Lome, Republique du Togo.
    Fax: +228-22-51-04-64

  • On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, Sheerin wrote:


    Asalaam Alaikum!/Greetings!

    Please forgive me for contacting you without your consent, I am Barrister AZMI BIN AHMAD BAKRI, a legal practitioner with AZMI AHMAD BAKRI & CO, Malaysia. I have a client, who died as a result of heart-related problem on the 12th March, 2014. His death was due to the news of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370) that disappeared on 8 March 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, in which all the members of his family were on board.

    I contacted you to assist in getting the funds left behind by my client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this deposit valued at US$10.5 million United States Dollars. The bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin, or the account will be confiscated.

    My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my late client, since both of you have the same last name, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you thereafter we can share the amount on a mutually agreed-upon percentage of 50% to me and 40% to your kind self and 10% to the charity. All legal documents to back up your claim as my late client's next-of-kin will be provided. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through.

    What I have mentioned to you sounds like crazy funds, but believe me is not! it is within my hands. It is real and not fraud, it is 100% legal, and the funds have history and will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter confidential.I will like you to acknowledge the receipt of this e-mail;(azmibin.bakri77@gmail.com) as soon as possible to indicate your interest.

    Best Regards,
    Barrister Azmi Bin Ahmad Bakri.ESQ

  • On Saturday, September 26, 2015, josie jessop wrote:

    I have been in contact with a lady perporting to be on her death bead from breast cancer. Sshe has a legcy she wants to leave to me to do 'Gods work'.
    I have been asked to contact a bank (which I have checked on the internet and there does seem to be such a bank)
    I have now been instructed to send 220.00USD to a certain person out in the BENIN REPUBLIC to pay a courier to bring me paperwork to be signed which will confirm me as her next of kin and then apparently they will transfer by a Bank Draft her said legacy. there seems some urgency as if the legacy not claimed it will be claimed by the treasury.

  • On Friday, September 25, 2015, Ritesh Agrawal wrote:

    With due respect this is a personal message for you,I need some directives from you to invest some capital in your country.

    And see how we can partnership into the business. Just reply me to explain better.

    From: Bridgette Fabia
    Sent: ‎Saturday‎, ‎12‎ ‎September‎ ‎2015 ‎15‎:‎19
    To: Ritesh kumar Agrawal

    My Dear, I am most happy for your reply. I really don't know how to
    explain myself here because in this kind of business discussion, we
    suppose to meet face to face to talk about it, but due to some family
    matters i can not be able to afford the cost now to travel with my
    children, that is why i seek your contact to have some private
    discussions with you through mails and probably phone calls.
    I am a widow with four children, my husband died last 2 years during
    the country political crises. We are from the Central African
    Republic, but due to the problem in the country, and the death of my
    late husband, i left the country with my children to Burkina Faso,
    where i am communicating to you now. I don't know how you see my
    contact to you. And you know a lot of things now happen with the
    internet, people sending all kind of lies messages claiming other
    people names.
    Dear friend, it took me time to consider to contact you through email,
    and i pray for God directions. Let me now explain to you the reason
    why i contact you. First' I have concluded arrangement to come down
    there with my children and settle there, so that my children can have
    a good education and good future. Secondly' i don't want to come there
    and start looking for work, my late husband plan for the children
    future ahead, He have this account at the Maybank in ,Malaysia, with a
    total of $4.2million. I don't have any business idea as you ask, and
    no experience, i have been a civil worker all my life. This is why i
    need your assistance to invest the capital into good business that
    will bring good profit. And i am ready to partnership with you into
    any business you suggest i put the capital.
    Finally' as the capital is in Malaysia, the bank gave me options to
    move the fund after i have identify with my son to the bank as the
    next beneficiary to the fund. They have approve to move the fund to my
    destination in whole, as i am not the original bearer of the deposit
    account, but i requested they transfer part of the fund to me here, to
    be able to buy air tickets and secure other traveling papers for my
    children, but they refuse my request, saying before they can transfer
    the fund bit by bit, i must have an account with my names in their
    bank, and that will require me coming down to Malaysia.
    As i can not travel there now, i choose the easier option, that is to
    move the fund to my destination. And since we are almost ready to come
    there in your country, i decided to contact you through email, for us
    to reason together and see what the capital can put up there, and how
    we can go into the business as partners. And most importantly, secure
    the capital in your account before our arrival, to enable our
    Dear friend, please, i took out time to explain this to you for your
    easy understanding, and i am counting on you for good investment of
    the capital, and our comfort arrival and stay there,i am waiting your
    suggestions, and more about yourself and what we can invest with the
    please i need your humble assistance.
    Mrs.Bridgette .

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