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The Inheritance Scam

Sometimes estate attorneys do contact people unexpectedly to inform them that they might have inherited something. However, you should be aware of scammers.

It would be great to receive a letter in the mail or a phone call, informing you that you have received a valuable inheritance from someone who recently passed away and who was a distant relation of yours that you did not know about. This does happen.

Inher scam

The scam is not a sophisticated one. It usually consists of someone receiving a letter in the mail informing them of an inheritance, but with a catch. To make sure the person receiving the letter is the appropriate heir, the “heir” is required to provide some personal details and send cash back to help facilitate the process.

This should raise alarm bells, but people want the inheritance so badly to be legitimate, that they are often taken in by the scam. They not only lose the cash they sent, but they are often then the victims of identity theft. How? It is because they have given the scammers too many personal details.

A real estate attorney might someday contact you about an inheritance. That attorney will never ask you for money up front to tell you about any inheritance that you might receive. If you have any questions about whether an inheritance might be legitimate, you can contact the court directly.

Reference: Gazette Extra (April 19, 2018) "Police warn of IRS, inheritance scams."

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