Q: I need to pose a question to your august assembly to get a reply to a certain matter which my brother-in-law posed me just before Sahr time this morning. He (MY BIL) has a contact in UK Bank (the Bank Manager) who wants to transfer a sum of money which has been in the account of a person who cannot be contacted for more than 10 years. All efforts to trace the Account Holder has failed and hence this amount (quite a big figure) has been idling in the account for many, many years. In this situation is it permitted in the Shariah to transfer this money to my Brother-in-law’s account in Sri Lanka, and if yes, how could the money be used. It is indeed to use this money for useful purposes.
A: This is scam that has been going around on the internet for many, many years now. We have also received countless of them. They come with different stories like a husband passed away and the money is in the account, or the money has been donated and there is no one to collect, etc. etc.
This is a HOAX! All these people want is for you to give them your name, address, id number, etc. They use that name and details to scam others and get false id, passports, etc. Tell your brother in law NOT to respond to these emails.
This case is a rare and unique one where your brother-in-law knows this person personally and the offer has been made, he CANNOT have that money transferred to him. It is not permissible. The onus is on the bank to trace the relatives of the account holder and give them the money.
It would be haraam for anyone else to usurp that money or even to use it for a Deeni purpose.