Darren/Derek Law Firm – Inheritance or beneficiary scam
Don’t fall for an inheritance scam – instead be the beneficiary of this WA ScamNet advice…
Scammers are pretending to be a law firm to try to convince you to take part in a bogus scheme to access money left behind by a deceased person who shares your surname.
Here’s how the scenario may go…
You receive a surprise letter from overseas. It’s from an Attorney representing an American who died in the 2004 tsunami. No living relatives can be found and so an estate of more than $4million remains unclaimed.
Although you might not be a direct family member, because you share the surname of the deceased, you can take part in a ‘risk-free’ legal process to claim the money and then split it 50/50 with the Attorney.
The letter will ask you to email, phone or fax. Once you make this initial contact with the scammer the story will spiral and spiral.
Of course there is no unclaimed inheritance. You’ll be strung along and asked to pay legal fees, overseas taxes or any type of fee the scammer can think of to extort money from you.
Check out the two letters we’ve received from concerned consumers in Perth and Geraldton. The tales are almost identical, the logos are the same but in one the name Darren Law Firm is used while the other is from Derek Law Firm.
Darren/Derek Law Firm is a not a legitimate organisation in Canada but because the scammers guess you’ll do a bit of internet research they even went to the effort of creating fake websites for the non-existent legal firms.
The website, which had been suspended at the time of writing, was littered with spelling and grammatical errors and dodgy looking testimonials. These are tell-tale signs when you’re trying to work out if a website is real.
The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho has issued a warning.
Be extremely suspicious if you receive a surprise letter from an overseas law firm to tell you that someone with the same surname as you has died and left behind millions of unclaimed dollars.
It’s like the David Lopez scam WA ScamNet named previously.
You can also read more about inheritance scams on the ACCC’s SCAMwatch website.