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How the scam works:

(with video below) 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.

Watch the video below to see a new twist in the Inheritance Scam, as reported 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 66 comments

  • On Saturday, March 28, 2015, Smirnoff wrote:

    Watch out for this email! Now they started coming in your email via text software. This one for example came from 3175098538@vtext.com:


    How are you and your family doing ? Hope you have not forgotten me? I
    am Dr Williams Johnson II, the man from Nigeria who contacted you some
    time ago to assist me secure the release of some money accrued from
    the over invoicing of a contract/inheritance that was awarded by my
    government sometime ago during the military regime.

    Though you were not able to assist me conclude the transaction, I'm
    happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds
    transferred under the assistance and cooperation of a new partner from
    Brazil. Presently I'm in South Korea for investment projects with my
    own share of the total sum.

    Meanwhile, i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me
    in transferring those funds, I made sure you are not left out the
    benefit of the transaction hence I kept aside for you sum of Eight
    Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollar
    Please bear with me for the making the initial contact through Email.
    Mean-while, A woman came to MY SECRETARY OFFICE few Days Ago with a
    letter,Claiming to be your true Representative.


    4031 Villa Vista
    Palo Alto, CA 94306
    ACCOUNT NUMBER: 6503809008.

    Please,Do reconfirm to MY SECRETARY'S OFFICE, as a matter of urgency
    if this woman is from you so that he will not be held responsible for
    paying into the Wrong Name.
    If this woman is not your REP,You are requested to fill and send this
    information's for verification purpose so that your VALID CERTIFIED
    into the wrong hand please.


    YOUR NAME:...............................
    YOUR ADDRESS:............................
    YOUR PHONE NUMBER........................
    CELL PHONE NUMBER........................
    YOUR OCCUPATION/POSITION HELD..........................

    I appreciated your efforts at that time very much,so feel free and get
    in touch with my secretary Mr. Paul Adams, l have instructed him on
    how to send the Bank Draft to you. Please do let me know immediately
    you receive the Draft so that we can share the joy together after all
    the sufferings at that time.

    In the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects
    which i and my current partner are having at hand.

    Finally, remember that i have left instruction to my secretary so as
    soon as you contact him he will send the Draft to you,so feel free to
    get in touch with MY SECRETARY NOW.

    Below is the contact of my secretary
    Name: Mr. Paul Adams
    Email: p_adams68@yahoo.com

    Kindest Regard
    Dr Williams Johnson II

  • On Saturday, March 28, 2015, Jean wrote:

    Here is one scam email from me:


    My name is Michael Reyfields; I work with the Reyfields Investigations, a Consulting Firm in London, UK. We are conducting a standard process investigation involving a client who shares the same name with you and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at HSBC Bank.
    The HSBC Private Banking client died intestate and nominated no next of kin to inherit the title over the investments made with HSBC Bank. The essence of this communication with you is to request that you provide us information on three issues:

    1-Are you aware of any relative/relation having the same surname, whose last known contact address was Madrid, Spain?
    2-Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such a person at the HSBC Bank?
    3-Can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility to assume status of next of kin to the deceased?

    It is pertinent that you inform us ASAP whether or not you are familiar with this personality that we may put an end to this communication with you and our inquiries surrounding this personality.

    You must appreciate that we are constrained from providing you with more detailed information at this point. PLEASE RESPOND BACK TO MY PRIVATE AND DIRECT EMAIL ADDRESS; mr63782@yahoo.com
    as soon as possible to afford us the opportunity to close this investigation.

    Thank you for accommodating our inquiry.

    Yours sincerely,
    Michael Reyfields
    Reyfields Investigations

  • On Friday, March 27, 2015, j bowman wrote:

    I received the same message from fox Williams with the name gaberial bowman who worked for amex oil in London and left 10.4 million dollars I instantly knew it was a scam this person needs to be shut down thrown under the jail for trying to still money from people it's a sham I hope no one falls for this ignorance

  • On Friday, March 27, 2015, annette n. wrote:

    Hi my name is Annette. And I recently made friends with selway murry on fb. And he ask if I could be his next of kin of...saying he was an independent contractor with Exxon Mobil and needed help with cashing a 4 million check. So please look into this,so that we can warn others that are being deceive

  • On Friday, March 27, 2015, Mollelwa Rahlao wrote:

    I got this email

    No.1A, Wilayah Persekutuan,
    Taman Bukit Pasir,
    93000 Kuala Lumpur,

    My name is Mr Malik Sarwar, a legal practitioner in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I saw your contact and profile and decided that you could cooperate with me in this proposition. I have a client, who was deceased in November, 2009, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am contacting you because you have the same surname as my deceased client and i felt that you could help me in the distribution of funding that were left in my deceased client's bank account. This funding is closed to be declared un-serviceable by the bank as there were no indicated next of kin or next of beneficiary of the funding in the bank account.

    The total amount of cash in the bank account of my deceased client is US$ 11.3 Million ( Say, Eleven Million, three Hundred Thousand United States dollars Only ), The bank had issued to me a notification to contact the next of kin of my deceased client for either to re-activate the bank account or to make claim of beneficiary, of the funding in the bank account, with a month surcharge of 6% to be deducted as an Escrow safe keeping fee of the bank account, so as to avoid the indefinite closure of the bank account. My proposition to you is to seek your consent, and to present your kind self as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my deceased client, since you have the same last name with him.

    This means that the proceeds of his bank account would be paid to you as his next of kin or the legitimate beneficiary. When the proceeds in his bank account are paid to you, we would share the proceeds on a mutually agreed-upon percentage of 60% to me and 40% to your kind self. All the legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin would be provided by me. The most important thing I would need is your honest cooperation in this proposition. This would be done under a legitimate arrangement that would protect you from any breach of the law. If this business proposition offends your moral and ethical values, feel free to back out. Please contact me at once if you are interested reply through my personal email (maliksarwar@blumail.org)

    Barr. Malik Sarwar. M.ESQ,
    Senior Advocate/Solicitor.

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