Police warn about inheritance scam

chatham-kent-police21The Chatham-Kent Police Service would like to inform the public of an attempted fraud that was recently reported. A Tilbury man received a letter with detailed instructions on how to claim an inheritance. This type of scam is typically known as the ‘Inheritance Scam’.

The Pitch
You receive a wordy letter, or email message, from a stranger or Legal company, seeking your assistance in moving large amounts of money, often millions of dollars, to your bank account. You are promised a very significant percentage for little or no effort on your part, perhaps as high as 40%, for simply providing your bank account details. You may be asked to be a trustee or to stand in as a long lost heir of a deceased’s fortune. A web site may even be provided so you can confirm the tragic death of some wealthy individual. The fortune may be said to be in cash in a safety deposit box, evidenced by a Certificate of Deposit. You may be provided an overseas phone number and asked to indicate whether or not you are interested so that plans can be made should you decide to participate.

The Facts
Legitimate estates do not solicit trustees or heirs in this manner and do not promise 20% – 40% of a fortune for doing little else than provide banking details, it is too good to be true, and if it is too good to be true, it probably is not true. This inheritance scheme could end here with the takeover of your bank account and depletion of your funds by a number of fraudulent means. A second phase of the scheme could be invoked, in which you are asked to pay an up-front fee in order to collect your so-called inheritance. You do not normally pay money to collect money. This is also known as an advance fee scam.

The Canada Revenue Agency Letter or Email Scam
The Chatham Kent Police Service is also warning taxpayers to beware of a recent scam where some Canadians are receiving a letter or email fraudulently identified as coming from the CRA advising they are subject to a refund and asking for personal information. The letter/email is not from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The letter/email requests that they complete the attached ‘Refund Form’. The letter/email attaches a form specifically requesting the individual’s personal information in writing, via fax or email, including information on bank accounts and passports. This letter is not from the CRA and people should not provide their personal information to the sender.

The Chatham Kent Police Service is asking that all people be vigilant when divulging any confidential information to third parties.

If you suspect that you may have been a target of fraud or need more information, please contact www.antifraudcentre.ca

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