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!
Copyright CFR 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
- Definition of scam, fraud, etc.
- Legal disclaimer / corrections
/ complaints -