I was contacted via SMS since last year ...

Asked by SharonG on 04-03-2021 03:51:16
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Mpumalanga

I was contacted via SMS since last year saying there is an unclaimed benefit in my name. Few days back I responded to the SMS via email. The person came back to me saying there is a person who is now deceased having the same surname as me and he left a large sum of money and it can be claimed by me. He says he work at the Bank of England his name is Jonathan Haskel

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 07-03-2021 12:15:30

Hi there,

I see that you haven't made a payment for the question, but I'm going to assist you a little. If you want to ask a follow-up question, please make the required payment.

This is a well-known inheritance scam! Don't fall for it!

People are often initially contacted via SMS with a request that they email somebody back to take up the offer, or to find out more information.

It has recently become common for scammers to use WhatsApp and also Facebook to send out these messages, because the messages then look like they are legitimate messages instead of largely anonymous SMS messages.


The "unclaimed benefit" or "unclaimed inheritance" scam is a very common and typcial scam that scammers use all around the world.

The GOLDEN rule in this situation is that whenever an upfront payment of money is requested before you can receive another BIG payment, or before your payment can be "released", you should take extra caution that it is a scam.

The first step is for the scammers to convince you that there is an "unclaimed benefit" or "unclaimed inheritance" in your family name, and that they have been looking for heirs for a long time, and they have come accross your name, and YOU are most likely the heir to this fortune.

The only thing that you will need to do, is to pay a LITTLE bit of money in order to secure a bank transfer, or an affidavit, or a lawyer's charge on the estate fees, or something like that -- then ALL of the money is yours.

The scammers will send you (what looks like) original documents from some fake institution (pretending to be real), or will send you to a fake internet banking website as "proof" of your money that has been deposited into your account, or they will send you fake invoices which they say need to be paid before the funds are released. 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. The same thing will happen when the bank asks you to pay money in order to unblock the account, or have the account released so they can make the transfer on your behalf.

They may even request that you pay them to complete a sworn affidavit of claim or a fact certificate so that you can issue the documents.


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!

An advance-fee fraud is a confidence trick in which the target is persuaded to advance sums of money in the hope of realizing a significantly larger gain.

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").

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 if you did not enter the lottery, or initiate contact with this person, then this is most probably an advanced fee SCAM.

Att. Patrick 

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