Inheritance Fraud

This scam begins with the consumer receiving a fax, letter, or email from someone with a very confidential business proposal. The letter states that an individual, worth millions of dollars, has died without a will.

The writer is trying to keep the money from reverting to a corrupt government and requests assistance from the consumer. The victim is asked to provide an account number where the money can be transferred, and in exchange for this “service,” the victim will make a profit.

A check is then sent to the victim for deposit into their bank account. Then the victim is instructed to send funds back to the originator of the letter via wire, money orders, or money transfer agency in increments under $10,000, and keep the “extra” money in their account. Days later, the deposited check is returned-counterfeit.

If it’s too good to be true, ask yourself:

  • Why would the writer want to share the money?
  • Why do they want this transaction kept confidential?
  • Why do they want some of the money returned to them?

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