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From fraud to windfall: My saga with German heir searchers

Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 10:29 AM | By Jana Schilder

This story is a hybrid of: amateur cybersleuthing, antiquated website design, international estate law and precautionary paranoia.

In the middle of January 2018, an e-mail came across my computer. Subject line: “Looking for the heirs of your late father.” Plus it gave the names of my grandparents, on my father’s side. That was odd because none of my family’s historical information can be found on Ancestry.com. I already tried that years ago.

All the bells and whistles were sounding off. At the other end of this...