Inheritance scams are becoming more sophisticated with the discovery of a fake website using the profiles of real Australian lawyers, according to WGC Lawyers.
WGC Lawyers Director Jacqui Lee Long said the scam involved an email giving instructions to claim an inheritance from an unnamed deceased relative.
The recipient is asked to add personal details to a form so the funds can be released and a link to a website purporting to be an Australian law firm is included.
Most people have received at least one bogus email saying they have an inheritance, but these emails are typically from overseas and poorly written making it obvious that they are a scam.
This one is much more sophisticated and may not arouse suspicions in people not familiar with legalese.
Legitimate law firms do not solicit people to engage in calling in an inheritance.
A client will come to a law firm to inform them of a relative’s death and engage the firm to act on their behalf as the executor or administrator of a deceased estate.
If an unknown person is the beneficiary of a will, the law firm acting on behalf of the deceased estate will not request your account details in their first communication with you.
My advice to anyone receiving an email suggesting that they are the beneficiary of a deceased estate is to treat it as suspicious.
Do not click on any links and do not send personal details. If it is convincing, try contacting the recipient by phone to establish who you are dealing with.
If something seems too good to be true, then it is most likely a scam.