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When It’s Too Good to Be True…It’s Usually a Scam!

Too goodMost scammers are not very creative or original. They do not need to be, because ordinary, run-of-the-mill scams that have worked for decades continue to work. The best way to make sure that you are not a victim is to know about the scams ahead of time. One of the most common scams involves receiving an unexpected inheritance.

Everyone who had an email account in the 1990s knows about the Nigerian Prince scam as they probably received dozens, if not hundreds, of variations of the scam in their inboxes.The basic idea behind the scam was that an extremely wealthy person in Nigeria had his accounts frozen or could not transfer money out of the country without help. The scammer either requested that money be sent or that bank account numbers be sent to facilitate the transfer of the scammer's assets for which the person would be rewarded handsomely later.

That this was a scam seems obvious, as why would some wealthy African need the assistance of random Americans? However, everyone knows about the scam because it worked. The scammer just needs one person out of millions to take the bait. That is true with most common scams. Only one person needs to take the bait to make attempting to scam thousands worth the scammer's time. Another old scam is still making the rounds, according to the Wichita Eagle in "A long-lost relative left you money? Beware of inheritance scams."

In this scam, the intended victim is told that a relative has left them an inheritance, but to get the inheritance, the victim must first pay the scammer money to facilitate the transfer. Often this scam can be very personal, as the victim is given the name of a real relative who died or lived in a faraway place as the person who left the inheritance. That makes the scam sound plausible. The best way to protect against this scam is to know it exists, and if you receive anything that looks like it, to check with other relatives before sending any money to claim the inheritance.

Still not convinced that the scam is a phony? Contact an estate planning attorney to check it out for you. You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.

Reference: Wichita Eagle (August 21, 2015) "A long-lost relative left you money? Beware of inheritance scams"

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.