If someone contacts you through your personal email account asking you to send money for information regarding your late spouse's financial accounts, contact an attorney for help. Mail and wire fraud is a growing concern today. The request for money or private information can occur electronically, such as through your email or over the telephone, or it can occur by snail mail. If you answer or respond to the fraudulent communications, you may lose your spouse's assets, personal information, and other valuables. Learn why you received the emails and how to protect your loved one's assets from the person sending them.
How Did the Person Learn About You and Your Spouse?
Many of the mail and wire fraud cases occur overseas. The person may have learned about your deceased spouse by hacking into databases that list your loved one's name, address, and contact information. There are many sources online that not only list your loved one's information, they also list the contact data of anyone associated with that person. This is most likely how the person learned about you and your email address.
The person may contact you as a way to find out information about your spouse, such as ask you to send personal information about your spouse and verify your spouse's accounts. This is called phishing. Phishing emails may appear legitimate to the recipient because they may list a real bank's name. If you recently lost your loved one and are still distraught about their passing, you may inadvertently release information that allows the phisher to steal your loved one's funds.
How Do You Protect Your Loved One's Assets?
The first step to protecting your loved one's assets is to contact an attorney and request assistance. A number of attorneys work on mail and fraud cases in the United States. An attorney may ask to see the emails. Although you should never respond to the emails, you can save them in a file in your email account. You can forward the emails to a lawyer upon request.
Also, avoid opening any more of the emails you receive from the fraudulent person. The person may send viruses and other electronic dangers to your computer that allow them to open and inspect your financial and personal information at will. After you contact an attorney, you can take steps to identify the person or entities behind the correspondences.
For more information about the mail and wire fraud or even securities fraud, contact a legal professional today.