Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Here's a variation on the basic scam money transfer email. You received an email from "Mr Sparo Malcom" of "Fondazion Di Vittorio", which is supposedly supported by "ECOWAS", telling you to contact "Ricardo Varanini". They just want to GIVE you money, as long as you use a part of help to develop the environment.
If it isn't obvious, we'll say it for you: this is a complete scam and fraud. In some cases, the alleged organizations, like "Fondazion Di Vittorio" do exist and may be legitimate. Don't let that fool you. The scammer has nothing to do with them; the email and the grant are all nonsense. If you believe that there are organizations randomly handing out money like this, then we fear you may have been scammed already!
If you need more tangible proof, ask yourself this: why would an substantial organization with a website ask you to reply to a yahoo (or hotmail or other) generic, free email address, unrelated to the organization, which ANYONE could get? We've highlighted some of the more absurd statements and clues in the example email below.
And if you were crazy enough to write back to them, click here to a typical response the scammers send.
Mr Sparo Malcom <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: Mr Sparo Malcom <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 21:23:51 -0400
Fondazion Di Vittorio,ITALY
The Foundazion di Vittorio, would like to notify you that you have been chosen by the board of trustees as one of the final recipients of a cash Grant/Donation for your own personal, educational, and business development.
The Fondazione Di Vittorio, established 1977 by the Multi-Million groups and now supported by the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations Organization (UNO) and the European Union (EU) was conceived with the objective of human growth, educational, and community development.
To celebrate the 28th anniversary program, The Vittorio Foundation in conjunction with the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations Organization (UNO) and the European Union (EU) is givingout a yearly donation of US$1,000,000.00 each to 100 lucky recipients. These specific Donations/Grants will be awarded to 100 lucky international recipients worldwide; in different categories for their personal business development and enhancement of their educational plans. At least 15% of the awarded funds should be used by you to develop a part of your environment. This is a yearly program, which is a measure of universal development strategy.
You are required to contact the Executive Secretary below, for qualification documentation and processing of your claims. After contacting our office, you will be given your donation pin number, which you will use in collecting the funds. Please endeavor to quote your Qualification numbers (N-222-6747, E-900-56) in all discussions.
Executive Secretary- Mr. Ricardo Varanini
Please note that these donations/Grants are strictly administered by "European Union (EU), Economic community for West African States (ECOWAS)," under delegated powers from the United Nations Organization (UNO). You are by all means hereby advised to keep this whole information confidential until you have been able to collect your donation, as there have been many cases of double and unqualified claim, due to beneficiaries informing third parties about his/her donation.
Finally, all funds should be claimed by their respective beneficiaries, no later than 20 days after notification. Failure to do so will mean cancellation of that beneficiary and its donation will then be reserved for next year's recipients.
On behalf of the Board kindly, accept our warmest congratulations.