Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

The Dying Widow ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

One Of The Popular Variations On The Email Scam Is The Dying Widow Scam

The basic idea is that a Widow (or Widower) is Dying And Needs Your Help!

This is a variation of the typical “419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam.Advance Fee FraudAdvance Fee Fraud An advance fee scam or fraud is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. Scam, where the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. claims to be a childless widow of a wealthy husband, usually from the Middle East, Africa (such as Nigeria) or a former Diplomat or Government Official. She inherited her fortune from her husband and is now dying. Usually, this is an obvious terminal disease such as breast cancer or “cancer and fibroid problems.”  Sometimes it will be a stroke.

The widow will claim to be a “Born Again Christian,”using typical biblical language such as “Calvary Greetings”, “Dearest In Christ”, or referring to scriptures (“Exodus 14”). The widow will you to use the money for an orphanage, charities or a church; or may claim to be devout Muslim.

The source of the emails and fake profiles turn out to be Nigeria or West African nations.  The person behind the scam is almost always a man pretending to be a woman, that works with scamming gangsGangs A gang is normally a group or society of associated criminals with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over a territory or business practice in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Online gangs are not limited by territory and may operate side by side with other gangs while engaging in crime online. Some members of criminal gangs are initiated (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence, or rituals. Gangs are usually rougher and more visible than scammer cartels, and more often arrested. – many, no doubt, providing funds for local terrorists.

It almost always follows the same scam where the victim will receive millions of dollars for a little help. The victim will be asked to wire their money to another person, typically a “lawyer” or a “security company” or another intermediary in control of their money. 

The male equivalent of the “dying widow” scam is the “dying merchant” scam.

Example Stolen Photo

Dying Widow Scam

Dying Widow Scam

The above photo was from a Facebook Fake Profile used for Social Media Dying Widow ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.https://www.facebook.com/people/Esaf-Awad-Ibrahim/100011145404916

DYING WIDOW SCAM EMAILS

Here is a typical Dying Widow Email

———————————————-
FROM: kohrogokabila006@yahoo.co.jp; on behalf of; Gretchen Mishra <grethchen20@outlook.com>
SUBJECT: Charitable Donation From Mrs. Gretchen Mishra
———————————————-

DEAREST IN CHRIST.

I AM MRS.GRETCHEN MISHRA FROM SWITZERLAND. I AM MARRIED TO LATE MR.TOM MISHRA WHO WORKED WITH A CONSTRUCTION COMPANY WE WERE MARRIED BUT WITHOUT ANY CHILDREN AM A DYING WOMAN WHO HAD DECIDED TO DONATE