Next Of Kin Scams
The Next Of Kin Scam is a variation on the Nigerian scam, but I thought it deserved its own page, since I've had two separate emails from people who got taken in by the Next Of Kin Scam.
Here's how it works. You get an email from a "lawyer" (I put "lawyer" in quotes because, of course, he's not really a lawyer- he's a scammer). The letter explains that a wealthy man has died. Typically it's in a plane crash, although the scammer will use whatever current events are convenient; the scam to the right uses the recent Indonesian Tsunami.
The email proceeds to explain that the wealthy man has no living relatives, so the money is about to get confiscated by the government. From here the email will take one of three different tracks:
1. The email appeals to your sense of greed by telling you that if you stand in as the deceased man's next of kin, you can have the X Million dollars yourself.
2. The email appeals to your sense of compassion by telling you that if you stand in as the deceased man's next of kin, the money can go to some charitable cause (like helping earthquake victims, in the sample).
3. The scammer has done enough research to know that you have the same last name as his wealthy deceased, so he then asks if you really are the next of kin.
Either way, you are encouraged to get in touch with the scammer. Of course, the truth is, there is no fortune just waiting for the next of kin to claim it. And if you get involved, sooner or later the "lawyer" will tell you that he needs you to "pay a fee" before the funds can be released.
Or he'll tell you "we've been found out", and you need to cough up some bribe money. And of course, you know perfectly well that you're doing something illegal, so you'll cough up whatever he asks for. Only, the money is going directly to the scammer, and he'll disappear with it.
Do not contact the scammer who sends you the Next Of Kin scam. And if you have, contact the FBI and report all correspondence to them.
Next Of Kin Scam Sample
I am Mr. Andrew Stephens, an attorney at law, a deceased client of mine, By name Mr. Robert De Groet, who herein after shall be referred to as my Client, died as the result of Tsunami incident in Indonesia. I am Contacting you to help assist me in ensuring that the funds lodged by my Client with his Financial and Security Firm is not declared unclaimed Hence my reason for contacting you. This Financial Firm has issued me a Notice to contact the next of kin or the account will be confiscated. My Proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the Next-of-kin hence the original next of kin of my late client also had Died along side with him on that faithful morning, my effort to get him a next of kin has since been proving difficult. No relatives or friends Could be traced for the claim of the said fund, as the beneficiary you Will have all access to make claim of the funds, Then we shall discuss how We can use the fund to help the needy on a based Charity programmed also for investment.
We plan on giving help to earthquake victims in countries like India, Pakistan or any other country afflicted with a natural cause disaster.
All legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin Will be issued to you. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us See this transaction through. This will be executed under a legitimate Arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. If this proposition offends your moral values, do accept my apology, and ignore this mail. However if you are willing to assist me in this cause I will establish a Verbal telephone communication with you and bring you into a much better Picture of the situation.
Mr. Andrew Stephens
PLEASE SEND YOUR RESPONSE TO: firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall get back to you as soon as possible you may also write your telephone number and i will call immediately .
P.s: the amount of the said funds is approximately $10.5 million Us Dollar.