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Fraud Alert - Inheritance Scam

Man reading documents while standing in his kitchen.

Scammers have sent official-looking letters to several New Brunswickers claiming they are sitting on an inheritance from a long, lost relative just waiting to be claimed. The letters claim to be from bank officials, and they ask for information, including bank account information, to proceed with the claim. These inheritance scams are like many circulating around the world. The letters offer you the false promise of a windfall to trick you into parting with your money or sharing your banking information.

How to recognize an Inheritance Scam

  • You are contacted out of the blue by a scammer posing as a lawyer or bank official offering you a large inheritance from a distant relative or wealthy person.  Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • The letter uses official-looking letterhead or logos, but will usually contain spelling mistakes or awkward language.
  • The logos appear grainy, as if they’ve been cut and pasted onto the letter.
  • You are asked to provide bank account documents and copies of identity documents as verification.
  • Follow-up correspondence with the scammer may request you to pay a series of fees, charges or taxes to release the inheritance money. Fees may be small amounts initially, but you will be asked to make more and larger payments.

What to do if you receive an Inheritance Claim Letter

  • Ignore it.
  • Do not provide personal information, credit card numbers or other financial information to the scammer.
  • Avoid any arrangement that requires you to pay a fee to receive money.
  • Report the letter to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

What to do if you are a victim of an Inheritance scam

Change your password and PIN for all online banking or financial services accounts and contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

Where to report Inheritance Scams

Report Inheritance scams to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501.

Learn more about how to report fraud and where to report fraud.
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