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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 38 comments

  • On Monday, September 15, 2014, Treyn wrote:

    I got one as well
    My good friend,

    It is a great pleasure to receive your respond as regards to my contact to you. My name is Cassandra Lorenzo, I have been admitted here in General Hospital Dakar Senegal for several weeks now because of blood cancer and according to the medical examination, I have few days to live.

    I contacted you from my sick bed as regards to the bank draft cheque worth $750,000 US Dollars (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars) I want to write in your name. the reason I am writing this bank draft in your name is because i want you to help me to receive this bank draft in your country, cash it and give any orphanage home in your country $350,000 US Dollars (Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars) and then take the remaining money.

    You have to give me your details below to write this bank draft in your name.


    As soon as I receive your information from you I will write this bank draft and give it to Medical Doctor to post it alone side with some parcel to you through DHL.

    Note: If I did not receive any respond from you, i have no choice other than to look for alternative to give this bank draft to a good person who will take the money to the orphanage home as I stated above. I will be waiting for your urgent respond

    Cassandra Lorenzo
    Phone: +221 772320752
    E-mail: cassandralorenzo@hotmail.com

  • On Saturday, September 06, 2014, Tharot wrote:

    I have got some message the same that story I have read. Here we are.
    Firstly I thank you for your reaction to mine email; How are you doing over there in your country, i believe you are doing well and the atmosphere over there in your country is very nice today? Mine is a little bit warm over here in Casamas Senegal. My name is Lilian Andrew i am 24 years old but age doesn't matter in a real relationship, I am from Rwanda in East Africa ,5.4ft tall, light in complexion single, ( never married ) and presently i am residing here in Casamas as a result of the Civil war that was fought in my country some years ago.

    My late father Dr. Andrew Kotnana, was a politician and the managing director of a Gold & Mine Ind in Kigali ( the capital of Rwanda ) before the rebels attacked our house one early morning and killed my mother and my father in cold blood. It was only me that is alive now because i was in the school before the incident and I managed to make my way to a near by country Senegal where i am leaving now as a refugee under a Reverend-Father's care and i am using his computer to send these message to you. I would like to know more about you. Your likes and dislikes, PLEASE do not be offended for this message that come's from me please, fear which to me obliged to put simple trust on you due to my situation here as a refugee and I shall demand most your conscientiousness after yours to know about me, I shall really grow fond we to have good in spite attitudes therefore I have this as a trust which i believe that you can not betray me at the end. I have communicated you because of my difficult situation here in this refugees camp, Its just like one staying in the prison and i hope by Gods grace i will come out here soon.

    I don't have any relatives now, whom i can go to all my relatives ran away in the middle of the war the only person i have now is Rev- Father Stephen Johnson who is the pastor of the ( Church of the Savior Mission. ) here in the camp he has been very nice to me since i came here but i am not living with him rather i am leaving in the woman's hostel because the camp have two hostels one for men the other for women.

    The Rev Father Telephone number is ( +221 781 613 815 ) I will like you to call me on this number, if you call tell him that you want to speak with me he will send for me in the hostel. As a refugee here i don't have any right or privilege to any thing be it money or whatever because it is against the law of this country. I want to go back to my studies because i only attended my first year before the tragic incident that lead to my being in this situation now.

    Please listen to this ( please it's a secret,even no one knows about it accept the Reverend that knows about it ), i have my late father's statement of account and death certificate here with me which i will send to you latter, because when he was alive he deposited some amount of money in a leading Foreign bank which he used my name as the next of kin, the amount in question is $7,400,000.00( Seven Million Four Hundred Thousand Us Dollars Only ). So i will like you to help me transfer this money to your account and from it you can send some money for me to get my traveling documents and air ticket to come over to meet with you. I kept this secret to people in the camp here the only person that knows about it is the Reverend because he is like a father to me. So in the light of above i will like you to keep it to yourself and don't tell it to anyone for i am afraid of loosing my life and the money if people gets to know about it.

    Remember i am giving you all this information due to the trust i deposed on you. I like honest and understanding people, truthful and a human of vision, hardworking and GOD fearing people. My favorite language is English but our language is french but i speak English very fluently. Meanwhile, i will like you to call me like i said i have a lot to tell you Attached here is my pictures. and i will also like you to send me your own pictures and also tell me about your self so that i will know who you are. Have a nice day and think about me.waiting to hear from you soonest.
    Yours Miss. Lilian Andrew,
    What will I do next?
    Please help me to solve this problem....

  • On Tuesday, August 12, 2014, chris wrote:

    Just got an email few days back to whom she introduce herself as Kimberly Mogan (kimberlyhowardmogan@hotmail.com). Same story, her spouse died in Australia but the bank is in Nigeria.

  • On Friday, August 08, 2014, maudy wrote:

    i also received an email from MALIK IMTIAZ SARWAR saying the same story as the on he told uli this is a real scam

  • On Wednesday, August 06, 2014, Raheem wrote:

    Damn I also got scammed by this idiot called Grace Max and this is her emial address - gracemax101@hotmail.com She told me her dad died and deposited a $ 6.5 million, which she needs a foreign partner for it to be transfered into my account. THANK GOD I GOOGLE SINCE I HAVE BEEN CURIOUS AOBUT THE WHOLE THING....THIS IS HER STORY....Next of Kin:::::::::::: Miss Grace Maxwell.
    Father's Name:::::::::::: Dr.Patrick Maxwell
    Account Number::::::::::: (RB343I08701364/QB/71/SB)
    Amount Deposited::::::::::::6.5 Million US $
    Name of Bank:::::::: Royal Bank of Scotland.

    Contact them now on how to transfer the $6.5 (Six Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars)deposited by my late father which i am the next of kin. Honestly I am happy that God has brought you to see me out from this execrable situation which am passing through and i promise to be kind and will equally need you in every area of my life Including investing this money since i am still too young to manage it. As i told you before,this camp is just like a prison and I pray always to move out from here as soon as possible.Please make sure that you contact the bank !.
    Yours forever in love,
    Grace maxwellRed roseRed rose

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