Question posted in the General Law category relating to Western Cape
Question value: R 200.00
Yes, i need help to determine whether i am being scammed or told the truth about a will/testament. I am willing to send you a copy of the will to examine it and give me yor opinion.
I need you to provide an email so that i can send you the document i want you to examine
Information Requested by Lawyer
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.
If you would like to email it to me at caselawja<at>outlook.com, I can take a look at it for you - but unfortunately, only tomorrow morning, because I'm heading to sleep now.
Answer to the Question
I have received your email, and I have had a look at the "Will" which the "Barrister" sent you.
In my professional opinion, you are being scammed 100% of the way. I've seen this story so many times that I've literally lost count!
This is called an Inheritance Scam.
The first step with the scammers is to make you believe that you've inherited some money. They will usually not go to great lengths here, or won't explain the family tree properly. They will simply make reference to a long lost relative from many years ago. They might provide you with a copy of a "Last Will and Testament" as proof of the estate.
The second step is to request certain payments from you, in advance, before the inheritance can be released. These payments can be for "reserve bank authorisation", "exchange control", "estate taxes", "lawyers fee", etc, etc ... They are ALWAYS rubbish expenses.
The so-called "419" scam (aka "Nigeria scam") is a type of fraud named after an article of the Nigerian penal code under which it is prosecuted. It is also known as "Advance Fee Fraud" because the common principle of all the scam format is to get the victim to send cash (or other items of value) upfront by promising them a large amount of money that they would receive later if they cooperate. In almost all cases, the criminals receive money using Western Union and MoneyGram, instant wire transfer services with which the recipient can't be traced once the money has been picked up. These services should never be used with people you only know by email or telephone!
The victims are promised a fortune for providing a bank account to transfer the money to. Then - if they fall for the scam - they are made to part with thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in "bribes" for local officials or other "fees" (taxes, insurance, legal fees, etc) before the "partners" finally disappear without trace.
Many 419 scams involve a fake lawyer (usually a person who calls himself a Barrister or claims to work for a firm whose name includes the word "Chambers").
Whenever an upfront payment of money is requested before you can receive your inheritance you should take extra caution that it is a scam.
The scammers will send you (what looks like) original documents from some Fake Bank, or will send you to a Fake Internet Banking website as "proof" of your inheritance that have been deposited into your account. It's all fake.
They will tell you that the transfer has gone through, and that you have paid to send the transfer, but will then invent a further charge relating to the receipt of the money, or dealing with Treasury or something like that.
My suggestion is to BREAK OFF ALL FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH THEM ... YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO LOOSE YOUR MONEY....
You can have a look at this site http://www.419scam.org/419scam.htm for more information.
Please note: I am not 100% positive that this is a SCAM, but I can give you a 99.99% sure that this is most probably an advanced fee SCAM.
Depending in what information you have given these people, you might indeed be at risk of identity theft. It would be advisable to keep a close look at activity on you bank and credit card accounts and report any unauthorised activity immediately. If you feel up for it, it might be a good idea to change your banking details.
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