Avoid getting scammed by fake "Donation To Charity Home" emails

Also Known As: "Donation To Charity Home" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Donation To Charity Home"?

After reading the "Donation To Charity Home" email, we determined that it is spam. This letter is a philanthropy-themed scam. Specifically, it requests aid from the recipient in distributing millions to charitable causes, and they will be able to keep 30% of the funds for their assistance.

This spam mail aims to obtain victims' personally identifiable details. However, the scam may also request money further down the line.

Donation To Charity Home email spam campaign

"Donation To Charity Home" email scam overview

The spam email with the subject "Good Day" (may vary) is supposedly from a childless widow, who is sick with cancer. Her husband, a contractor in the Republic of South Africa and the United Kingdom, passed away from COVID-19 in 2020. He had bequeathed her 15.2 million pounds sterling (GBP).

She is seeking the recipient's help in distributing the funds to a charity home in their country. If the recipient is willing and religious, they will receive 30% of the funds for their assistance.

It must be emphasized that all the information provided by "Donation To Charity Home" is false – there is no millionaire widow searching for aid from recipients of this email, nor are there any millions waiting for them.

The goal of this letter is to deceive recipients into revealing their personal information and potentially performing other activities (such as transferring money to scammers).

The spam email targets the following private data: full name, age, religion, nationality, occupation, home/work address, and telephone number. The recipient is also asked to send a copy of their passport. This vulnerable information can be sold to third-parties, utilized to craft incredibly personalized scams, and even used to steal victims' identities.

It is pertinent to mention that scams of this ilk often request recipients to disclose financial data to facilitate the fund transfer, e.g., logging into bank accounts through phishing sites/files, providing banking account details or credit card numbers, and so forth. Cyber criminals can use this information to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.

Victims may be asked to handle bogus taxes or fees by sending the scammers money. Difficult-to-trace methods are used for transferring funds to the criminals, e.g., cryptocurrencies, gift cards, pre-paid vouchers, or cash hidden in packages and shipped. Relying on these methods diminishes the chances of the scammers being prosecuted and victims retrieving their money.

To summarize, by trusting an email like "Donation To Charity Home" – users may experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have provided your personally identifiable or finance-related data to scammers – immediately contact the appropriate authorities.

Threat Summary:
Name "Donation To Charity Home" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient will receive 30% of £15.2 million if they distribute the rest to charitable causes.
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Spam campaigns in general

"Work For Charity", "Payment Refund Commission (PRC)", "Western Union Money Transfer", "Business Proposal", and "Asian Welfare Lottery" are just some examples of scam emails that promise exorbitant payouts to recipients.

This type of scheme can wear a variety of disguises, including (but not limited to) philanthropic efforts, dubious schemes from fake lawyers/bankers/etc., inheritances, relief funds, lotteries, compensations, and refunds.

However, this is not the only kind of scam promoted through spam. Other common ones are account-related issues (e.g., security updates, impending deactivation, suspicious activity, pending messages, low storage space, etc.), outdated/renewed subscriptions, purchase inquiries/refunds, shipping problems, business proposals, sextortion, etc. What is more, deceptive emails are used to proliferate malware.

Due to how widespread spam mail is and how well-made it can be – we highly recommend being careful with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns spread malware by distributing malicious files as attachments or download links. These files come in various formats, e.g., documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth.

Once an infectious file is opened – the malware download/installation process is initiated. However, some formats can require additional user interaction to jumpstart infection chains. For example, Microsoft Office files need users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents require them to click on embedded files or links.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is important to always treat incoming emails and other messages with caution. We advise against opening attachments or links present in dubious/irrelevant mail, as they can be malicious. We recommend using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.

It must be mentioned that malware is not proliferated exclusively through spam mail. Therefore, we also advise vigilance when browsing, as fraudulent and dangerous online content typically appears genuine and innocuous.

Another recommendation is to download only from official and trustworthy sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updates may contain malware.

We must stress the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security software must be used to perform regular system scams and to remove detected threats/issues. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Donation To Charity Home" spam email letter:

Subject: Good Day

Dear Sir/Madam,

Good day to you, my name is Mrs. Elizabeth Graham, the wife of Late Dr. Barry Graham. From Australia, a dying woman, I am a 60 years old woman diagnosed with cancer four years ago; I happily decided to donate what I have inherited to any Charity home in your country for good works rather than allow my late husband’s relatives to lavish his hard-earned wealth. I don't want you to ignore this message because it is very important to me.

My late husband was a contractor in both South Africa and London, he died on 19th October 2020 due to COVID-19, and during the period of our marriage we could not bear any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his businesses and wealth both in South Africa and London-United Kingdom.

I have been touched to donate from what I have inherited from my late dear husband who passed away on 19th October 2020 due to COVID-19, nothing more will make me happy than to achieve this last wish on earth because at the moment my health keeps deteriorating.


I want to give a total sum of fifteen million Two Hundred thousand Great British Pounds (GBP15,200,000.00) to the less privileged through you. to you to distribute to any charity home on my behalf in your country and 30% of the funds will go to you for your assistance. I will inform you furthermore on your response, kindly discard this email/message if you are not God fearing or capable to handle this humanitarian work as I need a trustworthy and reliable personality to handle this Humanitarian/Charity work. I will be looking forward to hearing from you. so please be by my side. Meanwhile, l will like you to give me some of your information such as:

YOUR FULL NAME.............

HOME AND OFFICE ADDRESS .................





PASSPORT COPY .......................

CONTACT NUMBER............................


I have to write an Authorization Letter with your details to the bank and the Lawyer instructed them to transfer the money to your bank account so that you will receive the money on my behalf. I will also forward to you the Authorization Letter as a proof as long as I get your information.

God bless you

Mrs. Elizabeth Graham

A Widow.

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Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Spam emails are not personal, even if they include details relevant to the recipients. These letters are distributed by the thousand as scammers hope to deceive at least some recipients.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?

If you have disclosed your personally identifiable or finance-related information (e.g., ID card details, passport scans/photos, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact relevant authorities without delay. And if you've provided your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Systems are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened; just reading an email poses no such threat.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?

Whether your device was compromised might depend on the format of the opened file. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – as these files cause infections almost without fail. However, you might have avoided this if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.). Some of these formats can require additional actions to start downloading/installing malware (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded content, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate practically all known malware infections. Keep in mind that since sophisticated malicious software usually hides deep within systems – running a full system scan is paramount.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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