• Posted

Do you occasionally wonder to yourself about those distant relatives you haven’t heard from in a long time? Have you ever daydreamed about how you might spend an unexpected inheritance?

Beware that scammers using social conditioning techniques and taking advantage of human nature have recently been posing as a Government department, the Bona Vacantia Division, and scamming individuals into responding to emails about receiving unexpected inheritances. These emails claim to give the recipient the opportunity to claim ownerless properties and funds through the Bona Vacantia Division.

Bona Vacantia, meaning “vacant goods”, refers to ownerless property from the estate of a person who died intestate (without a Will) and where no relatives can be found to inherit, meaning that by law it passes to the Crown. Approximately 60-70% of the UK population die without a Will which means the intestacy rules apply.

The Bona Vacantia Division has recently highlighted concerns in relation to suspicious emails claiming to be from them and has issued a warning.

“Neither GLD nor BV Division will ever issue emails making such offers. If you receive such an email, you should treat it with suspicion. We would recommend that you do not respond to any such offer, do not click on any links in the email and report it as spam to your internet service provider or to Action Fraud”.

Although this scam is believed to be rare, this warning demonstrates the seriousness of these phishing scams.  Phishing is an attempt, often via email, to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and bank or credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.

If you do receive an email that you think might be a scam it is important to follow these warnings and not reply to the email. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

We recommend that you to make a Will and review it regularly as your circumstances change over time. Making a Will is the only way to guarantee that your family is supported financially and provided for out of your estate in the way you want.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.