skip to Main Content

Avoiding Inheritance Scams

Identifying scams can be difficult and confusing. But it’s important to recognize them in today’s digital age. A common scam nowadays is inheritance scams, often trying to get you to send over thousands of dollars in the hopes of receiving millions. The best defense is your gut, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! But what else can we look out for?

Common Inheritance Scams

People will primarily try to scam others through emails, letters, and phone calls. It’s relatively easy for these scammers to obtain someone’s personal information, and therefore get going with their scam. Inheritance scam emails can often include documents and other attachments that look legitimate, which may include logos, passports, and legal records. The most common thing about inheritance scams is that they almost always involve other countries, and the “heir” needs to make a payment.

A common inheritance scam is when a scammer will research a U.S. citizen that worked overseas, often in the oil industry or in the military, who has passed away. Again, this information can be easy for them to find. They will reach out to heirs and tell them that the person who’s passed assets can be released to the heirs after paying an “inheritance tax” or “legal fees”. It usually involves multiple people pretending to be the bank, the attorney, or a government official. In very extreme cases regarding a U.S. husband and wife couple, they will try to convince the couple to send the wife overseas to “take care of the paperwork”. There, they have the opportunity to kidnap the wife or hold her hostage, making the situation far worse.

A recent evolution of inheritance scams that are becoming more common has to do with targeting lonely men in the U.S. online or in person. The scammer will pretend to be a “girlfriend” for maybe 6 months to a year. During this time, this “girlfriend” will inherit money but will have to pay fees as an “inheritance tax” or “legal fees”. They will then ask the boyfriend they are scamming to send the money for the fees so that they can be together and share the inheritance.

The best thing to do when dealing with an inheritance scam is to not respond to the email, click on any links or documents, and not reveal any personal information. If you want to learn more about avoiding inheritance scams or learning how the inheritance process properly works, then please call us at 877-638-7760.