Have you ever dreamed of finding out that you are to claim a large inheritance from a distant relative? If that is the case, then you are not the only one. Many people imagine that they might end up in such a situation and plan for how they would make use of that imaginary money.
Scammers are perfectly aware of that and will try to use that knowledge to their advantage. How? They will try to make you fall for an inheritance scam.
It is very unlikely that such a thing will ever happen to you. However, if it does happen, you might end up losing thousands of dollars. The same goes for your loved ones. Do you want to educate yourself on the topic and protect yourself and the people you care about from falling victim to an inheritance scam? If so, you should keep on reading!
What Is an Inheritance Scam?
According to the experts at http://probateadvance.com, an inheritance scam doesn’t have to be complicated. First of all, the scammer has to come up with an interesting story. In most cases, it will be about a very distant relative that you never knew existed. They have just passed away and left their estate to you.
Next, the scammer will try to contact you. They can do that in many different ways, ranging from a very suspicious letter or an unexpected email to a random text message. It will state that a law firm is trying to get in touch with you because you are legally entitled to claim the inheritance.
However, there is a catch. You will be told that the supposed inheritance is difficult to access due to bank restrictions or government regulations. Do you still want to get your hands on it? In that case, you will need to pay money and provide the scammer with your personal information.
Scammers will try their best to convince you to follow their instructions. For instance, they might send you seemingly legitimate legal documents to sign or invite you overseas to examine the money and the documents in person.
If you decide to make a payment, you will not receive the money that you were promised, and you will not get the money that you paid back. On top of that, if you send the scammers your personal details, you might end up having your identity stolen.
What Are the Warning Signs?
Fortunately, identifying an inheritance scam is not a difficult task. In fact, there are quite a few warning signs that you can look out for. If you manage to spot at least one of them, it is safe to say that you have been contacted by a scammer.
- The offer that you received contains spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
- The supposed inheritance is very large. It might contain millions of dollars.
- You are asked to verify your identity by paying a series of fees and providing copies of your identity documents, as well as your bank account details.
- If you question the legitimacy of the offer, you are provided with fake documents, ranging from birth certificates to bank statements.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
There are many ways in which you can protect yourself from falling victim to an inheritance scam. Do you want to know what they are? If so, then here is a list!
- You should not send anyone your bank account details or copies of your personal documents.
- If you are in doubt, you should contact a professional. It can be a lawyer, an accountant, or a financial advisor. They will help you determine whether the offer you received is legitimate or not.
- You can google the names and the contact details mentioned in the letter or the email that you received, as well as its exact wording. That way, you can easily check for any references to a scam.
- If you suspect that it is a scam, do not reply. Scammers will try to play on your emotions to get what they want.
As you can see, determining whether you have been contacted by a scammer is relatively easy. All you need to do is look for the warning signs and avoid providing the scammer with valuable information, such as your social security number and bank account details.
If you think that you have fallen victim to an inheritance scam, you should get in touch with your bank and report the scam to the authorities as soon as possible. That way, you might still be able to get the money that was stolen from you back, as well as protect other people from getting scammed.