Here are sample scam letters. If you have received any of these letters, or have received a similarly fraudulent communication that is not included below, please refrain from responding to them, block the sender of the correspondence, and/or contact the appropriate agency.
Scam letters arrive in a number of ways, whether it be through direct mail, fax, or email. As you can see by the following examples, some of these letters sound very convincing. They may even be from someone impersonating an attorney, financial institution, or an individual who does exist in real life – as is the case in several of the sample scam letters below. That is why you need to be keenly aware of what these scams sound like, so that you can detect the warning signs and avoid being a victim!
As exemplified in the letters below, typical signs of a scam include but are not limited to:
- Arrives unsolicited via mail, email, or fax from an organization you’ve never heard of before
- Talks about the unclaimed proceeds of either an insurance policy or a bank account
- Appears to be from a law firm or financial institution that really exists, maybe even one that is a household name. They may even have someone pretending to be a lawyer on the line to try to trick you into believing they are real.
- Includes some kind of time sensitivity or sense of urgency Uses the word “business proposition” or “business opportunity”
- Encourages you to keep the transmission confidential Voice a dramatic consequence for not taking action, such as the funds being given away to the government
- Mentions a deceased person who died spontaneously such as in a car accident with no listed beneficiaries
- Assures you there is no risk or potential infraction of the law, and may even use the word “legitimate”
- May possibly ask for a cash advance
- It may have a date stamp or seal to try to appear legitimate
There are several ways to protect yourself from these scams, such as reading about how to keep your money safe online and follow our cybersecurity checklist.
Please note: These are examples of suspected scam letters. We did not have the time to follow up on all of these, and can not verify they are scams.
#1 Unsolicited fax regarding unclaimed life insurance or inheritance proceeds
#2 Scam business proposal from overseas
#3 Scam business proposal to repatriate funds into the US
#4 Invitation to split a dead relative’s “loot”
#5 Overseas scam investor wishing to invest in US projects
#6 Scam letter about unclaimed insurance proceeds
#7 Lottery scam email
I’m the mega winner of Mega Millions Jackpot. The Donation to 5 random individuals have to get TWO MILLION US DOLLARS each.
If you get this email then your email was selected after a spin ball.
THIS IS YOUR DONATION CODE: FE207162
Reply with the DONATION CODE
Mrs. Mavis L. Wanczyk
#8 Scam investor wants to relocate funds to the US
From: “Mrs. Shaidi Hashmatullah” <email@example.com>
Date: November 22, 2021 at 1:08:01 AM PST
To: Recipients <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Looking forward to hearing from you
Reply-To: email@example.com Hello Dear
I am Mrs. Shaidi Hashmatullah, from Kabul, Capital of Afghanistan. With due respect Sir I am contacting you due to the crisis in Afghanistan, I’m looking for a possible tie up with a business or individual abroad so that I can do some investments there, I desire to relocate my investment capital abroad where it will generate more returns.
I will appreciate your response. Please let me know your ideas and knowledge regarding this investment offer. Any viable investment idea you suggest to me will be considered.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Mrs. Shaidi Hashmatullah
#9 Phishing redirect
Below is a “redirect” phishing scam email. The link in the email looks valid (“edd.ca.gov” is real), but it redirects you to a non-EDD website that asked you to enter in your personal details (like date of birth and Social Security Number). Someone must have reported the scam, because the site has since been taken down.
Nevertheless, it’s a good example of phishing. The target sees the email from what looks like a government agency and worries that someone has stolen their identity, then goes to the website to find out what happened and ends up giving away their personal information.
Got a sample scam letter to add?
The goal of this exercise is to increase consumer awareness by providing sample scam letters so that people know what a scam typically sounds like. If you have a scam letter to add to our database, please contact us.
Any similarities to people living or deceased are entirely coincidental.
The information on this page does not describe every aspect of our investment advisory services nor does it contain all of our performance records, and it is intended for residents of the United States. Information provided is obtained from sources we believe to be reliable but is not guaranteed. Past results are not indicative of future performance. Nothing on this page should be construed as investment, tax, or financial advice. MCS Family Wealth Advisors® is owned by MCS Financial Advisors, LLC (MCS), an investment adviser registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. We only conduct business where properly registered or exempt from registration.