Contacted About a Long-Lost Relative’s Inheritance? Hold on a Minute; It May be a Scam.

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The FTC has been getting reports of people getting letters in the mail from a law firm. They are, they say, looking for the heir of a multi-million-dollar inheritance. And they think it might be you. (Spoiler alert: it’s not.)

Here’s what they offer: they’ll split the inheritance between you, their law firm, and some charities. One other thing: they say you have to keep this information secret and reach out to them by email — immediately.

So what’s really happening? This is not a lawyer — it’s a scammer. And if you email them, they’ll probably try to get your personal information, like your Social Security or bank account numbers, your money — or both. And that inheritance? It doesn’t exist.

Here’s what to do if you get one of these letters:

  • Don’t respond. Keep your money — and your information — to yourself. Never send money or information to a stranger who promises big rewards. That’s always a scam.
  • Pass this information on to a friend. You probably throw away these kinds of letters. But you probably know someone who could use a friendly reminder.
  • Report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Want to stay on top of the latest scams? Get the FTC’s Consumer Alerts delivered to your email inbox. Sign up: ftc.gov/ConsumerAlerts.