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.