BBC warns of Heir Hunters email scams circulating

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

The BBC has warned computer users to be on the lookout for emails claiming to come from a daytime TV show, after it was discovered that scammers are using the disguise to grab personal information.

The emails claim to be associated with “Heir Hunters”, a BBC television programme that focuses on the work of probate detectives, who look for distant relatives of people who have died without making a will.

The unsolicited emails claim to have handed over “thousands and millions of funds to heirs”, some of which is allegedly from the estates of victims of the holocaust.

The emails ask that recipients respond with their full name, date of birth, address and telephone number, so that their details can be checked on a database to see if they are eligible for a windfall.

Here’s a typical email:

Part of the email reads as follows:

I am writing you from Heir Hunters Company in the United kingdom ,

Heir Hunters probate detectives looking for distant...

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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