This email purports to be a final notice regarding a large sum of money that you have supposedly won in the “Exxon Mobil Grand Prize Sweepstakes”.
According to the email, you have won $9 million via the random selection of your email address and should contact the “Grand Prize Management Team” with your claim details. The message claims that the prize is part of the ‘$500 million Pandemic Giveaway’ email contest.
But in fact, the email is just another advance fee scam. You have not won any money. There is no prize. The email has no connection to Exxon Mobil or any promotions or prize draws the company has been involved with.
Like all such scams, it is designed to trick people into sending money and personal information to criminals. Those who fall for the ruse and reply with the requested “claimant form” will be asked to send money upfront to cover various – entirely imaginary – fees and charges supposedly associated with the transfer of the “prize”.
These demands for money will continue until the victim finally realizes he or she is being conned or runs out of funds. When the scam has run its course, the crooks will disappear with their victim’s money, never to be heard from again. Victims will never get their money back. Nor, of course, will they get the promised 9 million dollar prize, which was never real to begin with.
The criminals may also be able to commit identity theft using the personal and financial information sent to them by victims.
Advance fee lottery scams like this one have been around in various forms for many years and even predate the Internet.
Like many current scams of various types, this one tries to capitalize on the current COVID-19 pandemic.
An example of the scam email:
Subject: FINAL NOTICE – PRIZE WINNER!!!
We have sent you several emails notifying that you’ve won the $9 million dollars Exxon Mobil Grand Prize Sweepstakes in our ‘$500 million Pandemic Giveaway’ random email contest!
Reference WOEF839. To claim, please follow these steps:
1. Fill claimant form below:
Full name | Address & Country | Sex & Date of Birth | Contact Mobile Number | Occupation | Proof of Identification:
2. Send an email containing your claim details within 3 days to claim your prize.
Grand Prize Management Team