Phony Inheritance Schemes

Wouldn’t it be nice if you unexpectedly came into an inheritance from a long-lost relative or friend? It rarely happens. If you receive a notification in the mail from an “estate locator” saying that there is an unclaimed inheritance waiting for you, beware! You could be the target of a slick con artist.

These unscrupulous white-collar criminals also call themselves “research specialists” — but they didn’t find you by doing research. You are one of thousands across the nation who are targeted in mass mailings. Many of these recipients are lured into mailing a fee — sometimes $30 or more — for an “estate report.” All the individuals on the mailing list receive the same information, so chances are almost zero that you are the heir.

You can protect yourself by checking other sources before sending funds in response to an estate-locator solicitation. Those who have been named to distribute estate funds to rightful heirs normally do not request you to pay a fee to find out about your share of the estate.