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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Legitimate notice of inheritance? Not via email

Did you know that one of the latest scams out there is contacting someone by way of email to let them know that they are to inherit a large sum of money? The scam is complete when the victim hands over funds to pay the supposed taxes and fees on the non-existent inheritance.

To read an article about this, click here.

In this article, the author argues that one of the ways we can tell this is a scam is that email addresses are not public knowledge. This is true. Unfortunately the lure of possible free money seems to blunt a person's common sense. It should also be obvious that if someone you know died, you'd probably hear about it before receiving an email message from a law firm. Also, estates involve wills, inventories, and many other documents, none of which are attached to these phony email messages.

I received one of these emails myself a while ago. I noticed that although it was supposedly sent from a law firm, it had several spelling and grammatical errors. Even if I weren't as skeptical as I am, the poor language skills would have alerted me. A decent law firm rarely sends out anything with errors like that. I very much enjoyed composing a suitable reply.

Please don't fall for one of these! I echo the advice given in the attached article that if you receive something like this, and it seems to you after thinking it over that it just might be legitimate, take it to a wills lawyer to have it investigated.

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