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How the scam works:

You receive a message (usually by e-mail, but sometimes on social networking sites 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 developing 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 will 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. Needless to say, it never happens.

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 31 comments

  • On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, Debra Rhoades wrote:

    Can you tell me if global assets investment limited company is valid, or if it exists.

  • On Monday, April 28, 2014, Liv wrote:

    I got this as well:

    Total scam - not sure who to report it to though. ( i am based in UK, London)

    Hello kortlangr

    I'm Barrister Atinga Mustafa , personal attorney to Engr.Roberto kortlang
    a foreign expatriate who worked for a Telecommunication Company here
    Togo My client died along with the entire family in a car accident
    which happened at Khara express way on December 26th 2011.

    My late client left a total sum of ($4,800,000.00) in his bank account
    here I have a document related to this account, I decided to contact
    you because you bear the same surname with him which is the reason I
    want to seek your consent to present you as the Next of kin/heir
    apparent to inherit his estate.
    As it stands if his estate is not claimed before next quarter of this
    financial year it will be turned over to the Government treasury as I
    have been notify as his personal by the domicile bank last week.

    Be rest assure that this transaction is 100% risk free as an attorney
    at law every aspect of this transaction will be executed within the
    ambit of inheritance law of this country. if you are capable to work
    out this transaction with me please email me your following
    particulars below in my email; (Atingamsfa1112@gmail.com), as I do not feel
    comfortable discussing this transaction freely through Facebook;

    1, Private electronic email address........
    2, Full Name................................
    3, Postal Address..........................
    4, Profession..............................
    5, Marital Statue...........................
    6. Date of Birth...........................
    7. Mobil phone#.............................

    The above details will enable me prepare a legal frame work to imitate
    inheritance process at the High Court of Justice to secure legal
    approval in your name as the heir to the deceased to inherit his
    estate. As his personal attorney I can assure a hitch free legal
    process to secure Judicial Authorization of this estate in your name.

    Upon successful execution of this transaction we shall have the
    account proceed shared 50/50% equal after expenses we might incur in
    the process. Please NOTE; if this proposal do not interest you or not
    capable of handling it, kindly delete it and forget about this offer
    because it's not a joke neither a child's play.

    Attorney Atinga Mustafa L

  • On Saturday, April 26, 2014, Dr. Wouter L. Ballizany wrote:


    12 Mar 2014

    to wlballizany
    Dear Dr. Wouter L. Ballizany,

    Following the receipt of your message, I must thank you for the response to my proposal. Please be informed that this transaction is going to be carried out under a legitimate arrangement that will not breach either the law of your country or mine,hence 100% risks free. I want you to clear every doubt in your mind as we shall observe every legal procedure. My late client Mr.Robert Ballizany lived in Spain for Seventeen Years;He died of a heart attack one year later after the demise of his wife and two kids in a car accident, which occurred December 2006.Robert wife is Monica while the two kids are Luisa and Pedro.

    The security Company had contacted me on many occasions over these years to present the supposed Next of kin to my late client. Upon these requests, I made several efforts to reach anyone related to him but without success. You may or might be anyway related to my late client, but the reason I contacted you is because after the death of my late client, I was informed by the security Company to search for any member of his extended family (related especially with a common surname); to put up a claim for his deposited Vault with them. Based on this I decided to look for someone credible, with a fixed address and possibly with a common last name to apply for this claim.

    Haven received your response, I hereby bring to your attention the complete details of the transaction as well as my plan for its smooth conclusion within ten working days. The deposited vault in question valued at (US$7,900,000.00) is as a result of an abandoned deposit by my late client, it is absolutely necessary for me to make it take the resemblance of an actual beneficiary; this is where I need your assistance, as my duty is to provide the necessary documents to back up our claim because my late client died without a WILL.

    My perfected modalities as my late client´s Lawyer, has been expanded to include the transfer of the deposited vault valued at (US$7,900,000.00) to you either via diplomatic courier or by any alternative means desired as soon as the release of the vault is approved in your name.

    I want to assured you that all the modalities for vault release has being well studied and I can guarantee confidently the release of the vault if we both collaborate and work as a team. Confidentiality and avoiding undue publicity is the key to the transaction as these can jeopardize the process.Without undue emphasizes, I am vast in law and from my experiences I have no doubt that we can get the vault out without problems.

    I must also inform you that my biggest success is in our ability to enjoy the proceeds of this transaction with absolute peace of mind. I will prepare an application letter to present you to the Finance Safe Keeping Company as the beneficiary and other legal documents needed for the formal presentation at the deposited office. I will also send you copies of this application for your record purposes.You will be contacted by the deposited office when I finally tender the application to them as indicated by the Finance Safe Keeping Company.

    To achieve this, you only need to reconfirm the following:

    (1) Your full names and current residence address for the purpose of proper identification

    (2) Your telephone and fax numbers

    I am requesting only your conscientious collaboration to complete the process of claim successfully and to split at equal share as I have mentioned in my proposal letter.

    I shall be expecting your call or prompt response to this mail.

    Kind Regards,
    Thomas Elonzo Cruz
    Mobile: 00 (34) 602 355 985
    website: www.adolfotierra.eu

  • On Thursday, April 10, 2014, p.e wrote:

    I to haverecieved one from Edward borrini said some one past & I was the next of kin said we would split 60 40 and he was the lawyer in charge of the 6,000,000 english silver pounds don't fall for this email.

  • On Sunday, March 16, 2014, Mathew Reynolds wrote:

    I just this week got another email from this Paul Devitt guy, I told him to send me a cash cheque to prove his legitimacy which I wont get. Will refer this clown to the Australian Federal Police

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