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 Is this a scam?? Genealogy

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ZooDoo
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Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 13


PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Is this a genealogy scam??? What makes me suspicious is that the address of this person has no street number. The person (I've checked them out) contacting me does exist but guess what her phone is disconnected.......

Of course I deleted it an didn't reply, you will notice it also falls under the "third party" area - "the contents of this email are private". Could this be a phishing scam??? If I was the person, she is looking for would you dare to reply??

From : <[email protected]>
Sent : Tuesday, 12 June 2007 7:34:11 p.m.
To : [email protected]
Subject : A message from XXX XXX



Dear XXXXXXX,

I am seeking the Mother of a XXXX XXXX XXXX, born in XXXX in XXXXX.
Mother - XXXX required for an Estate that I have been asked to find the
beneficiaries for.
Could you contact me please if XXXX XXXX XXX is your Mother.

Kind regards and apologies for the intrusion if you are not the person I am
seeking.

XXX XXXX
XXXX Rd
XXXXXXXXX
Genealogist.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The above
message has been sent to you from www.XXXXX.XX.XX on behalf of the member
registered as XXXXX XXXX.

The contents of this email are private, and have
not been reviewed by our staff for any offensive material. If this message
contains inappropriate material, please contact our customer support staff.
www.XXXXXX.XX.XX
-------------------------------------------------------------------
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DrWho
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm guessing a high probability of a scam since they use the highly suggestive term "beneficiary". And they sent it blind.

Sure I'd reply. Tell them you are that person and you want to know what you should do next. I'm sure they will have some forms to fill out and submit to a barrister or banker. Then there will be some fees for processing and demurrage charges.

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Tommo Shanter
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Joined: 13 Jan 2006
Posts: 5379
Location: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. - Euripides


PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

There are professional legitimate probate firms that specialise in finding beneficiaries of people who die intestate. They are know as heir hunters. [For those of you in the UK interested in genealogy watch BBC1 at 9.15 this morning]They sign up beneficiaries and help them claim their inheritance and charge a fee for doing so.

Looking at that e-mail it doesn't look very professional to me. The professionals initially contact potential clients usually via the telephone and then arrange to meet them in person to ascertain their claim. I don't think they would blindly e-mail somebody like this.

Sure smells like a scam to me.

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Gnasher
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Joined: 29 May 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:06 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Is this person from a company or some vague 'group'?? (I note the email mentions being a 'member'). If it's a company and you can verify the phone number, address etc then it's quite possibly a legitimate 'heir hunter' as Tommo says. I know we are trained to be very sceptical about any kind of inheritance but there is a VAST amount of unclaimed money out there from deceased estates, usually from people who didn't make a will or whose close family members are untraceable. It can't do any harm to ask for more information and also some kind of proof of their bona fides so long as you don't divulge too much personal information at this stage. A legitimate company won't mind answering your questions at all, but be wary if they immediately start asking for fees. Also be aware that even if this is a genuine enquiry the fees can sometimes be more than the inheritance itself.

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ZooDoo
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Joined: 05 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ok I've done some more checking, the 'hunter' does exist as a person, the phone number matches the name and address. The email provider is area specific to the 'hunters' address. I now think it is a legitimate heir hunter.

However I don't think I would want to confirm my mothers name on the internet - also I think sending this out 'blind' with such information on it is a bit dodgy. I agree it doesn't look very professional.

If I was the person they were looking for I would probably take precautions before contacting them - surveliance, a lawyer and possibly lurking in their local pub (kidding).

((What initially concerned me is that the contact originates from one of those find a friend sites that I am a member of, also I set my security setting so I have to give permission for people to see my email adress - so that obvioulsy is not working because I didn't give permission, so glad I was vague on the personal details))

Good thing I'm not the person involved, the email just looked random and dodgy to me.
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Gnasher
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Nothing to stop you sending an email from a 'safe' addy asking for more information. If your mother stands to inherit something it might be worth following up but do ask about fees. I'm sure if you explain your concerns about divulging too much information on the internet this person will have a backup plan if he's genuine. Good luck!

_________________
Mortar x21
"you have to pay because he need to submit this form to the Federal Ministry Of Fancies" Barrister John/Mike/Richard Okeke
"they are in deed the swinders rotating about in the net and searching for whom they will stylishly defraud your belongings" A. Moron
"Please pray harder for God to guide and protect us during our travelling because flight airplane i observe is a very big risky" Abdul Karibu
"WE DOESN'T LIKE HOW DISOBIDIENT YOU ARE!" Coco Law Chambers
"BE INFORMED THAT YOU WILL INCUR DUMMERAGE AFTER 9 DAYS FROM TODAY" Burkina Faso Air Secure Air Service.\
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