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This scam message is unusual in that it arrived with an attachment. Most email users know not to open unfamiliar attachments as they may contain computer viruses, but the scammer here perhaps thought the ability to format the message as though it were an actual letter was worth the chance.
In its content, this is a standard “dying woman” scam: a wealthy widow dying of cancer, who is a devout Christian, needs your help to give away her fortune to charity. Alas, there’s really no dying widow and no money on deposit. There’s just a scammer trying to pick your pocket.
The initial email text reads:
from: NORA BECKY (firstname.lastname@example.org)
date: Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 4:24 AM
I am Mrs. Nora Becky. Presently, I’m in a hospital undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. Please see the attachment and read through the letter in details. Thank you.
And the attachment reads:
Greetings to you,
I am Mrs. Nora Becky, I was married to Dr. Van Becky, who worked with National Iranian South oil company (NISOC) for twenty three years before he died in the year 2006, May be you must have heard about him in the oil firm. We were married for thirty-seven years without a child. He died during one of the war in Iran. He was held hostage and slain to death by protesting youths of the region.
Before his death we were both devoted Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum USD$8,000,000.00 (Eight Million U.S. Dollars) with a Security Company in South Africa. Presently, this money is still with the Security Company and the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to receive the money or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf if I can not come over.
Presently, I’m with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only less than (2) two months to live.
It is my last wish to see that this money is invested wisely and at the end of every year funds are distributed among charity organization. I want a reliable and honest person that will use this money to reach to the motherless and also less privileges, to reach to the Katrina Hurricane, the sick that has no body to take care of them, the poor and widows and to set up a Cancer research.
If you are willing and honest enough to do my wishes, as soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the lawyer who will give you the documents/details of the transaction and guide you through the process. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you as the new beneficiary of this fund. You are to help me invest this fund into real estate and stocks. You will be entitled to 20% of every profit you make in a year. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated therein.
Please do all things possible to make my wish come through. Email: (email@example.com)
Hoping to hearing from you soon.
Mother Nora Becky
We document scam messages like these here at ScamHunter.org so people around the world can learn to avoid online scams and frauds.