Email Scams: Fake Grants and Scholarships (take our millions, please!)
Let's see... you're sitting at home, you check the email, and there's a free grant or scholarship from some organization you've never heard of, offering a boatload of money!
Of course, it is a scam! But many people want to believe this one, and believe nonsense, like they'll win a lottery because their email address was selected.
How does the scam work?
The scam works because banks take days or weeks to clear checks, and since the checks are forged based on real accounts (usually from checks stolen from people's mailboxes), your bank will cash it, based on funds already in your account. By the time it bounces, the scammer has collected the money from Western Union, and has disappeared into the woodwork in another country (usually Nigeria).
And he gets away with it because what law enforcement agency in your country is going to go to Nigeria to hunt down a small time con man who gave you a fake name and address?
Below are links to sample actual emails of this type of scam, along with how to recognize the scam and report them. These are of a type called "The Advance Fee Fraud (AFF)" email is also known as "419" after the section of the Nigerian penal law that deals with this type of fraud. It takes many forms, we have categorized the scams below as "Orphans and Widows of wealthy diplomats, generals, presidents, etc."
How to recognize a fake grant or scholarship
Let's look at some actual emails people received and see how we can spot that they are scams. In general, notice the awesome amount of misspellings, poor grammar and run-on sentences. May they should take one of their own scholarships and get a better education!
- US Government Grants - email@example.com, Steve Wilson, (605) 884-5940
- Association Of Charity Foundations - firstname.lastname@example.org - David Lukamn
- Chevron Texaco
Oil and Gas Company - Chevron Online Endowment Fund Award (COEFA)
Anthony Abbott, London
- Contact Grant People or My Grant Outlet- www.contactgrantpeople.com or www.mygrantoutlet.com, Malibu, CA
- Eco Bank, Mr. Sanni Abbas,I WORK WITH ECO BANK PLC
- ï¿½glise Catholique en France - ECOWAS, "Rev.Santini Benzima", "Rev. Silvian Dechamps"
ECOWAS - Foundazion di
And if you did write back to them, click here to see the response they will send.
- EU Humanitarian Grant - Special EU Programmes Body, European Union House
- The Fondation De France(FDF) - ECOWAS - "Mrs. Christie Cisse", "Mr. Benoit Cacapa"
- Fondazione Italcementi - Mrs. Prisca Vianelli, Mr. Adolfo Rigno
- Fondazion Di Vittorio- ECOWAS - Mr Sparo Malcom, Ricardo Varanini
- Fondazion Di Vittorio- ECOWAS - Mr Sparo Malcom, "Fabio Giovanni"
- Fondazione Zegna, Romola Loesche [email@example.com],Mr. Abbiati Perino, Italy
- The Queen Elizabeth's Foundation, - www.queenelzabeth-foundation.co.uk, Mr Jacob Kauffman, London (or Hong Kong?)
- The Queen Elizabeth's Foundation - www.queenelzabeth.co.uk, Mr. James Moore, in London (Zimbabwe or Hong Kong?)
- The Russian Foundation for Basic Research - www.rfbr.ru, Mr.Vikki Malcom, Barr.Brian Millavic, Russia
- Shell Foundation- ECOWAS - Joanne Chandler, Mr. Ed Wolferso
- UNITED NATION ORGANISATION, MR MICHAEL LOWE, London
And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive. We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!