Inheritance Fraud: Did you inherit from John Paul Getty Jr.?

Well who wouldn’t love to inherit millions?  The scammers that sent this fraudulent inheritance email to one of our savvy readers were hoping she’d throw caution to the wind but she knew this wind was just a bunch of hot air.  This John Paul Getty Jr.  inheritance scam isn’t new but as of this morning, it is still arriving in e-mail boxes.

“On behalf of the Trustees and Executors of the WILL of late British Philanthropist, Sir John Paul Getty Jr., I once again try to notify you as our first email to you was returned as a failure delivery (undelivered), hence I hereby attempt to reach you again.

I wish to notify you that the late Sir J. Paul Getty Jr. made you one of the beneficiaries to his (WILL). He bequeathed the sum of Nine Million Seven Hundred and Eight Thousand Six Hundred and Ninety Two Great British Pounds Sterling Only (GBЈ9,708,692.7) to you in the codicil and last testament to his (WILL) which is eleven (11%) of his total funds of GBЈ88,260,443.00 (Eighty-Eight Million Two Hundred and Sixty Thousand Four Hundred and Forty Three Great British Pounds Sterling) deposited with one of UK’s biggest financial institutions.

This may sound very strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely popular traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends here or abroad who wished you well. Sir J. Paul Getty Jr., a reclusive American-born philanthropist was the third son of the first American oil billionaire, billionaire American oilman Jean, Paul Getty.

According to him this money is to support religious and humanitarian activities and to help the poor and the needy in our society. Please if I reach you as I am hopeful to, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job. Please forward your response to gw@frontrunnerchambers.org for immediate attention.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours in services,

Barrister George Winston”

This is “very strange and unbelievable” indeed.  Unfortunately, our reader is not the only one of who received this e-mail scam, which is called an inheritance scam.  Thousands of other people have received it too over the past two years and it is usually the same fraudulent offer letter but interestingly the name of “barrister” keeps changing.  Sometimes the letter is from Giggs Moore LLP and at other times it is from Charles Russell LLP .

The truth behind the fiction

John Paul Getty, Jr. was a real person, born in America, who lived in London since the 1970’s and died there in 2003. He was a wealthy man and a philanthropist who set up a trust in 1986 that has awarded over 58 million (pounds) to over 3,000 charities in the U.K.  The JP Getty Jr. Charitable Trust has this warning on their website:

“Important: Occasionally fraudulent emails are circulated to organisations and individuals, claiming to be from the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, and advising that a sum of money is available to the email recipient. We do not send unsolicited emails of this nature and will never ask for bank account details from any organisation or individual. We strongly advise that you do not reply to any such email.”

We concur.  How do inheritance scams work?

Whether the deceased is a wealthy philanthropist, a prince of Nigeria or one of your never heard of before wealthy relatives, the idea is always the same.  Victims won’t get any money but they’ll spend plenty trying.  If you make contact, the thieves will string you along with e-mails and phone calls and have a great story for why and how you should send them some money so they can help you get your millions.  Our advice?  Save your own inheritance and hit delete.