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Home ScamsAdvance Fee Scams ‘$500 million Pandemic Giveaway’ Advance Fee Scam Email

‘$500 million Pandemic Giveaway’ Advance Fee Scam Email

by Brett M. Christensen

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.

Regards,
Grand Prize Management Team
E-mail: info@exxonmobilprize.com
giveaway@exxonmobilprize.com

 

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer