Beware Of Inheritance Scams
When you receive a letter in the mail that proclaims that “you win” before you even open the envelope, or when an email from a stranger arrives in your inbox with the word “congratulations” in the subject line, you are wise to be skeptical. Telling consumers that they are entitled to an influx of cash, but all they have to do to claim the money is to pay a smaller, but still considerable, amount of money or reveal a piece of confidential information such as your bank account number or Social Security number, is the oldest trick in the book, but scammers keep coming up with new variations on it. Elderly people who lack family support are among the most vulnerable to scams, including a recent inheritance scam that targeted seniors in Florida and has resulted in six alleged conspirators being extradited to Miami. The best way to protect your elderly family members from inheritance scams and other forms of financial abuse is to contact an Orlando estate planning lawyer before the suspiciously celebratory emails start arriving.
What Are Inheritance Scams?
The chances of inheriting money from a distant relative you never met are infinitesimal, but given the ease of communication and of DNA testing, scammers who use this line of reasoning have ways of making their lies more plausible. On the one hand, there are estate research firms that analyze the DNA of cash-strapped marks and try to find estates open for probate against which their clients could plausibly make a claim. On the other hand, there are inheritance scams, where the scammers contact you, claiming to be representatives of a bank or a probate law firm. They tell you that a relative you never knew about listed you as a beneficiary of his or her will, and all you have to do to get the money is verify your date of birth and Social Security number.
Three Men Extradited to Miami to Face Charges for Inheritance Scam
Last month, three defendants were extradited to Miami to face charges for fraud because of their alleged roles in an inheritance scam that targeted seniors in Florida. Kennedy Ikponmwosa, 51, was extradited from Spain, and Jonathan Abraham, 44, and Jerry Chucks Ozor, 43, were extradited from the United Kingdom. All three defendants are citizens of Nigeria, as are three other co-defendants who were previously extradited from Spain and the United Kingdom. The defendants led the victims to believe that the victims were heirs to the estate of a wealthy person who died several years earlier in Spain. They transferred money to the victims and then instructed them to transfer it to other accounts to avoid taxes and fees, effectively convincing the victims to act as money mules.
Contact Gierach and Gierach About Avoiding Inheritance Scams
An estate planning lawyer can ensure that you are never isolated and without guidance, thereby protecting you from scams and financial abuse. Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.