You've received an e-mail from a foreign lawyer telling you that a long-lost relative has died and that you are the only heir. You are entitled to millions from the deceased's estate. Can this be possible?
While it is possible that your initial contact regarding an estate inheritance could come through your e-mail inbox, it is extremely unlikely! I have even received these e-mails with a subject line "Beneficiary Notice" stating that I am a beneficiary of an estate and, as such, am entitled to a hefty sum of money from an overseas bank. The e-mail goes on to request additional contact information from me, so that they can file the necessary Probate documents and release the money to me. When they throw the word "probate" in there, it all sounds pretty legitimate! But, this is just another one of those e-mail scams that could lead to lots of headaches if you follow through and provide the requested information.
E-mails, like the one I just described, are nothing more than scams from people who are just after your money or your personal information. Once you send them a response, they will usually ask for even more personal information. They will use a lot of tricks to try to make the process seem legitimate. However, once they have your personal information, they will go after your money. One technique they use is claiming you will need to pay them a free before they can release the "inheritance" to you (and they say they can't deduct that fee from the money you are about to receive, due to legal restrictions). You can be pretty certain that after you send them the money they've asked for, you will never hear from them again.
Here's my advice: DELETE any email like this immediately! Do NOT click on any links contained in the e-mail. Do NOT provide personal information. If you are victim of such a scam, you can contact the Attorney General's office in your state. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Just as your mother no doubt told you, if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't!