Don’t Fall For An Inheritance Scam

Common Signs Of An Inheritance Scam

Are you sure that you’re inheritance is legitimate? If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is! Watch out for signs of inheritance fraud.

In the normal course of business, we are routinely contacted by “heirs” who have received very official looking emails, usually from a Barrister or Solicitor from Africa. Most frequently, the emails are said to be from Nigeria, Ivory Coast or Lagos. These emails are all very similar in nature and are backed up by very official looking probate documentation. They all purport that the recipient had a blood relative who resided in their country and who left a very sizable estate (usually more than $10,000,000) after dying in an accident. This heir is always the sole beneficiary of this estate.

Here is how the inheritance scam works. This Barrister or Solicitor will allege that there are many millions of US dollars currently being held in a bank account and that certain “fees” or “taxes” must be paid before the millions can be transferred to the US and deposited into the recipient’s bank account. The fees are usually alleged to be inheritance taxes, transfer fees and/or fees related to certification that the money is not laundered drug money.

This Barrister or Solicitor, or one of his agents, will often send the “heir” an official looking receipt as evidence that they have actually paid some of these fees out of their own pockets. However, there is always a small “balance” that must be cleared up before the transfer can occur. This sum is usually $2,500 to $10,000 and must be sent via bank wire or Western Union.

Facts Of The Scam

Heirs never have to pay taxes or fees out of their own pockets in order to receive their inheritance. Fees and taxes are always paid out of the estate. The Barrister or Solicitor never really paid any fees or taxes on your behalf as this was merely a hook to make you feel indebted to them.

If you send these people any money, they will simply come up with a new “fee” or “tax” that you must pay before you can access the millions. They will continue to do this until you have run out of money.

We all wish that we had a rich uncle in Africa who left us millions. Sadly for most of us, this is not the case. If the probate estate is not in an American Court, we cannot advance you money. We truly hate informing people that they have been scammed, especially if they have already sent money abroad. If you have not yet sent any money, consider yourself lucky and do not fall for the trap.