Scammers telling consumers how to scam? Yep. They know no bounds.
Now, they’re resorting to setting up shop as a law firm, sending out letters to consumers saying that they have an “easy way” to score some dough using another person’s life insurance policy. And, no, this is not a setup for a lawyer joke.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hearing from a variety of Americans – including a good number in Latino, Korean, and Vietnamese communities – who got official-looking letters in the mail from a supposed “lawyer” in Canada, of all places.
The "lawyer" claims to have an unclaimed life insurance policy worth millions of dollars for a deceased client. Due to your (supposedly) similar last name and nationality, the "lawyer" can add your name to the policy and divide the money among you, their law firm, and a charity. The only thing you need to do is keep this information secret and email them as soon as possible.
The law firm’s name isn’t Dewey, Scamem and Howe, but it should be. Because if you email them, they’ll ask for your personal information or some money probably to establish an account – or maybe both. And the supposed insurance payout? Uh, no.
CBS17 in Raleigh/Durham shows what this scam looks like in real life.
If one of these letters shows up, here’s what to do
If you get a letter from a law firm, you probably shouldn’t throw it away because it may be legitimate. But if you get one making this insurance pitch, the first thing you want to do is not respond.
“Never share your information with someone who contacts you and says they need it,” Sung W. Kim, an FTC attorney advises. “And never send anyone cash or pay with gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency.”
Kim also suggests that you share this scam with friends. Maybe posting about it on social media might help someone spot this scam and save them from losing their shirt.
Lastly, let the FTC know if you receive one. You can report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.