Inheritance scams

How it works

Some scams claim people have inherited millions of pounds or dollars from an unknown relative in a country they have never visited.

The fraudster will use a story to convince a victim of their inheritance. The individual will be asked to send fees up front—to cover expenses, for example—before the money can be released to them. The inheritance does not exist.

Learn more by reading examples (PDF 27K) of the type of letter or email people receive.

What you should do

If you think you have fallen victim to a scam, or your name has been used in a scam, contact your local police.

If you are regulated by us and have information that may implicate a regulated person or firm, report it to us using our Red Alert line.

If you are a consumer or a member of the public, please follow the reporting instructions provided in Recognising fraud and dishonesty.