I’ve now been writing about scams and hoaxes for around 12 years. I have an archive containing thousands of advance fee scam emails. A goodly portion of them are very similar to the “dying widow” scam I’ve quoted below. But, despite a great deal of publicity about advance fee scams, people still fall for them. Every day. All over the world.
Of course, if you replied to “Mrs. Malauren Ryan’s” email for more details as requested, you would very soon be asked to send money to allow your unexpected “windfall” to be processed. “Malauren” will claim that you must pay various fees upfront or the deal will fall through. Supposedly, the money must be sent to cover banking, insurance, tax, and a host of other – totally imaginary – fees. If you had the temerity to ask that said fees be payed out of the supposed donation itself, you would be sternly told that such a process would violate various laws and simply would not be possible. The scammer will warn you that, should you not be willing or able to pay the requested fees, the ‘fortune’ will be given to somebody else instead!
And “Malauren” will also insist that you provide a large amount of your personal and financial information, ostensibly so that you can verify your identity and facilitate the transfer of the funds.
But, alas, there IS no inheritance and the email is from a grubby little criminal, not a dying widow. Any money sent will be pocketed by the scammer. And, if you have sent enough of your personal information during the course of the scam, you may also have your identity stolen.
You most probably know about this type of scam and others of its ilk already. But don’t assume your friends, work-mates, and family members know about them as well. You might be surprised!
If you have a less Internet savvy friend who you think might be potentially vulnerable to such scams, you could gift him or her a copy of Hoax-Slayer’s eBook ‘Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft, Internet Scams & Phone Scams‘. The eBook, available on Amazon in Kindle format, covers many common Internet scams in detail. It also provides a great deal of information about malware, Internet and phone security, and protecting your identity online.
Amazon allows you to purchase the eBook and send it to a friend as a gift.
Greetings of peace and happiness to you,My name is Mrs. Malauren Ryan, I am terminally ill and have decided to donate my inheritance from my husband to you. No doubt, you may wonder how I got to know you and your information, and what informed my decision to Will my fortune to you, Dear, you have no cause to worry about these questions, I mean no harm.Regarding how I got your personal details, it is through the the help of the nurse assigned to attend to me in my private ward in this hospital, because I cannot surf on my own due to partial stroke, it is the nurse who surfs for me under my direction because I feel to donate my fortune to an individual and your profile was chosen.
I am 58 years old woman with no child and have been diagnosed of acute cancer for about 2 years now, shortly after the death of my husband here , which made me hypertensive and resulted in stroke. In my present condition, life is without meaning to me and hope has since eluded me, each day I give my entire existence a thought, I feel over powered by gloom and despair, also saw nothing but death lurking around, All these are my reasons for deciding on using anything in my name for charity in which co-incidentally you have been favored as the beneficiary.I must tell you that I was truly touched by my inner mind to take this decision action, and I will advice you don’t see your windfall as avenue for pleasure spree but should see it as an opportunity to build and grow your personal finances to an enviable level and help others, for both your benefit and the benefit of others, always put me in your prayers and ask God to forgive my sins and trespasses.I shall be undergoing major operations in less than two weeks from now and have willed my inheritance funds to you and to help the less-privileged around you.
If you are sure that you will use the donated fund as I have advised here, get back to me for more details.Thanks and regards
Mrs. Malauren Ryan
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!