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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 61 comments

  • On Friday, February 27, 2015, Deb wrote:

    Watch out for this clown's email:

    Please read carefully as I am going to explain in details why I Contacted you. I must solicit your Confidentiality and assure you that I am contacting you in good faith and this proposal will be of mutual benefit. Am attorney Fox Williams, A solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney/sole executor to late Mr Gabriel Goedken , The formal Sub-Controller in AMEC OIL(London) who died in a car crash in East London on the 15Th of MARCH 2013. Mr Gabriel Left behind a deposit of TEN MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS only ($10.4million) with a Finance Company Here In London.

    After the death of my client, the finance company contacted me, as his attorney to provide The Next of kin who should inherit Late Gabriel fortune this according to them is their policy in sure circumstances. Since the death of my client MARCH 2013 I have written several letters to the embassy with intent to locate any of his extended relatives whom shall be claimants/beneficiaries of his abandoned personal estate and all such efforts have been to no avail ,I had to inform the finance company about my fruitless effort in locating my late client close relative or His next of kin. The board of directors of the Finance company just adopted a resolution and I was mandated to provide my Late Client next of kin for the payment of the Deposited Fund within the next 15 official working days or forfeit the money as an abandoned funds. The company had planned to invoke the abandoned property decree of the company to confiscate the funds after the expiration of the period given me. Also I have received official letters in the last two days suggesting a likely proceeding for confiscation of his abandoned personal assets in line with existing laws of the institution.

    Well I have reasons very professional and I can use a legal means to present a next of kin of my deceased client. This is legally possible and would be done in accordance with the laws of the land. On this note I decided to search for a credible person and finding that you bear a similar last name, I was urged to contact you, that I may, with your consent, present you to the “Trustee” as my late client’s family member as to enable you put up a claim to the bank in that capacity as a next of kin of my client. I find this possible for the fuller reasons that you are of the same nationality and you bear a similar last name with my late client making it a lot easier for you to put up a claim in that capacity. I have all vital documents that would confer you the legal right to make this claim and would make them available to you so that the proceeds of this bank account valued at $10.4 million can be paid to you before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable . I do sincerely sympathize the death of my client but think it is unprofitable for his funds to be confiscated .

    My aim is to retrieve these funds and let it be claimed by the deceased family Lineage, etc. for this I seek your assistance since I have been unable to locate the relatives for the past Two years now. I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since you have the same last name giving you the advantage so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you and then both of us can share the Fund , 50% to me and 50% to you. I know there might be other persons out there with the same surname as my late client, but after a little check my instinct tells me to contact you. Can I trust you on this? I shall assemble all the necessary documents that will be used to back up your claim. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this proposal is hitch-free and that you should not entertain any fears as the required arrangements have been made for the completion of this transfer. Like I said, I require only a solemn confidentiality on this,If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed on you. Thanks for your understanding.
    Your expeditious response will be gratefully appreciated.

    Fox Williams LLP
    Main Office
    Ten Dominion Street
    London EC2M 2EE
    United Kingdom

  • On Wednesday, February 25, 2015, Cathy Kefford wrote:

    Received the following via Skype 2 days ago:

    FROM: Jasim Al Ali
    SKYPE USERNAME: rashotik_0013
    LOCATION: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    INITIAL MESSAGE (Received 24/02/15):
    DATE RECEIVED: 24/02/2015
    SKYPE USERNAME: rashotik_0013

    Dear Drury,
    “I decided to write you this proposal in good faith, believing that you will not betray me. My name is Jasim AL Ali,a Credit Audit Officer of United Arab Bank, Dubai (U.A.B).I got your information during my search on your Country Chambers of Commerce. I am 48 Years of Age and Married with two Lovely Kids. It may interest you to hear that I am a man of peace and I only hope we can assist each other.I have been in search of someone with this last name (Drury ),so when I saw your name I was pushed to contact you and see how best we can assist each other believing that you will not betray me. I am a Banker here in United Arab Bank,Dubai (U.A.B).One Naema Drury ,citizen of your country and Gold dealer made a fixed deposit with my bank in January 2009 for 36 calendar months, valued at (US$26,700,000) Twenty Six Million, Seven Hundred Thousand US Dollars. The due date for this deposit contract was the 2nd of April 2012.Sadly Naema Drury , was among the death victims while on a business trip to Indonesia in September 2009 earthquake. He met his untimely death in the Indonesian 2009 September earthquake.

    My bank management is yet to know about his death, I knew about it because he was my friend and I was his Account Officer,Naema Drury did not mention any Next of Kin/ Heir when the account was opened, he was not married and no children. Last week my Bank Management requested that (Naema Drury ) should give instructions on what to do about his funds, if to renew the contract.I know this will happen and that is why I have been looking for a means to handle the situation, because if my Bank Directors happens to know that Naema Drury is dead and do not have any Heir,they will take the funds for their personal use, so I don't want such to happen.That is why I am seeking your co-operation to present you as the Next of Kin/ Heir to the account, since you are a foreigner and my bank head quarters will release the funds to you.There is no risk involved; the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect us from any breach of law.It is better that we claim the money, than allowing the Bank Directors to take it, they are rich already,I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds accordingly, 50% for me, 45% for you and 5% for any expenses that will be incurred during the time of claims .Let me know your mind on this and please do treat this information highly confidential.We shall go over the details once I receive your urgent response,You can contact me on my private email address:(jasimali09999@outlook.com) for details.

    Anticipating your response

    Jasim AL Ali
    United Arab Bank

    I will post copy of ensuing conversation soon!

  • On Monday, February 23, 2015, Nobefundisi msweli wrote:

    *i got the same sms from malik sarwar who say he a legal practitioner
    My name is Mr Malik Imtiaz 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)

    is this a Scam guyz help

  • On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Christina J. wrote:

    A Mr.Barrister Richard Henry,contacted me here in N.Y.state,USA on Febuary 02,2015.His address is right now is a google account.Anybody,else had this contact?

  • On Monday, February 09, 2015, Souad wrote:

    I want to assured you about the legality and safety of this project, letting you know about the involvement of the lawyer here who was the lawyer to the late depositor.

    You have no reason to worry about the safety of this deal,this is 100% brisk free. I am involved and the lawyer is also involved so you don't have to worry about this. I swear in the name of god about the safety of this life beneficial transaction ok.

    When talking about safety, I should be the one to be worried because I would be here on ground to also convince the bank about your position as the next of kin, if anything should go wrong then I will be the one to be in trouble because I am physically present, pushing for you to be approved as the next of kin, so why worry when after the lawyer must have completed all legal process to position you legally as the next of kin which will protect and exonerate you.

    Listen, there is no point to forfeit the funds to the government  ok because the government policies don't favour ordinary citizens, so there is no point for the bank or government to turn over the money for their own personal use, so we claiming the funds is not a sin on our own side since the depositor is dead.

    The deceased deposited these funds without any one as his next of kin,  as his account officer, I can use my position in the bank to get a foreigner to lay a claim on this fund with your name since you bear same last name with him.     
    Please don’t reasons like a layman, this is not illegal because if we don't claim it, some other bankers that comes across the funds will claim it for their own personal  use, you and I need the money to be comfortable in life, if we claim the funds we can set aside some portion of the funds to support the less privileged and orphans, not the government because they won’t consider the helpless   people.
    You should have yourself to blame if you throw away opportunity to help the poor with the funds rather than allowing government to divert it for their use. 
    Think about what I have just told you

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