Heir Hunters International Pays For All Costs Associated With Obtaining Your Unclaimed Money or Unclaimed Property. If A “Heir Hunter” Asks For Any Money–Even One Single Cent–Before You Receive Your Unclaimed Money and Unclaimed Property, IT IS A SCAM! Period! No Further Discussion Needed!
To reiterate, no reputable heir finding firm will ever ask you to forward to it any money whatsoever–not one single cent!–before you receive your inheritance or unclaimed property. The only time bank information will be requested by Heir Hunters International is, if after the claim has been recognized by judicial authorities and a court order for distribution has been signed and entered into the court record, the heir wishes to facilitate a wire transfer, as they often do, for the sake of speed and efficiency.
Standard operating procedure is that the heir finding firm gets paid, as its fee, only when the heir or unclaimed property beneficiary receives their inheritance or property. If circumstances ultimately do not pan out, and the heir does not obtain any inheritance or unclaimed property, the heir finder suffers all the loss, not the heir.
To demonstrate how global the scam has become, warnings about the practice have been issued by officials in the Caribbean and in the United Kingdom.
Anna Ramdass, writing for the Trindad Express Newspaper, the paper of record for the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, quotes Susan Francois, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, as warning:
‘”I am sure that every listener out there has received some sort of letter, e-mail, text, fax or tweet saying that they have won a lottery or saying there is some unclaimed money out there with their name on it and [to receive it] they just have to do certain things.” “The money is promised,” Ms. Ramdass paraphrases, “but the scammer asks for money up from up front, saying that the taxes have to be covered or clearance certificates.”
In an unattributed article appearing in the Scottish Shetland Times, Islander Jennifer Watt relayed an experience her mother, Effie, had with a telephone caller who identified himself as an employee with “Metrobank MS Ltd.” The caller said that Effie’s deceased husband had “$152,000 in shares that had to be claimed before they were confiscated by the bank.” To complete the transfer, the caller “wanted a bank account number and sort code” for Effie’s bank, as well as a “release fee,” which would be necessary to prevent governmental authorities seizing the money. Fortunately grabbing the phone from her mother before any damage had been done, Ms. Watt said, “It was a new one on me, like something out of [the BBC’s TV series] Heir Hunters, and I think [the caller] was trying to pass himself off as an heir hunter.”
Even the more sophisticated can fall prey to the artful scammer. John Hilbert, partner with Heir Hunters International, has been an heir finder since 1987, and recently his mother suffered the same fate as Ms. Watt’s mom, Ellie, but, unfortunately, the outcome was not the same. John’s mom gave a caller purporting to be from the Internal Revenue Service her bank information. Thankfully, shortly after the fact, she spoke to John about the conversation, and he was able to alert her bank. Fortunately, no harm, no foul.