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Fairfax County Police Department Warns Public of Inheritance Scam

The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) has received numerous reports from residents across the U.S. involving a phony inheritance proclamation.

These typically arrive in the form of an unsolicited e-mail announcing that the recipient has been awarded a multi-million-dollar inheritance, but must contact a FCPD police investigator to claim the funds. Presently, the scammers are identifying themselves as authentic FCPD personnel and using official e-mail addresses, phone numbers and street addresses to appear more convincing to the victim.

The Financial Crimes Unit is aware of at least a dozen reports of this scam since Jan. 10. Detectives warn residents that, due to the potential international origin of this scam, there is little that can be done to re-claim funds that have already been wired. Therefore, do not wire money based on instructions received in unsolicited e-mails.

The FCPD does not send unsolicited e-mails concerning inheritance, monetary funds or transactions. Those receiving such emails should delete them immediately and not open any files associated with the e-mail.

Anyone with questions concerning the validity of unsolicited, suspicious e-mails requesting money to be wired or personal information to be sent—and appearing to be from the FCPD—should contact police. If someone within Fairfax County has already sent money involving this scam, report it through the Financial Crimes electronic reporting site.