Email purporting to be from the Alwaleed Philanthropies Organization claims that your eligibility status has been confirmed and you are therefore set to receive a grant of $3,000,000.
The email is not from Alwaleed Philanthropies and the claim that you have been awarded a multimillion dollar grant is untrue. The email is an advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to Internet criminals.
Subject: Your Eligibility Status has been confirmed
Your Eligibility Status has been confirmed to receive a grant of USD3,000,000.00 From the Alwaleed Philanthropies Organization. Saudi tycoon, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on Wednesday promised his entire USD32 billion (28.8 billion euro) fortune to charitable projects and improving the standard of living of individuals across the globe. Prince Alwaleed has supported philanthropy for more than 35 years, with donations thus far reaching USD3.5bn. For claims and details, please contact Mr. Roy Henshaw via email on email@example.com for more information.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
According to this email, which purports to be from the charitable organization Alwaleed Philanthropies, your eligibility status has been confirmed and you are about to receive a grant of 3 million US dollars. The email claims that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has promised to donate his entire fortune to ‘charitable projects and improving the standard of living of individuals across the globe’.
And, explains the email, all you need to do to claim your unexpected windfall is contact Mr. Roy Henshaw via a specified email address.
Alwaleed Philanthropies is a real organization and it is indeed supported by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. The organization has supported a large number of worthwhile projects over many years. However, Alwaleed Philanthropies is certainly not randomly handing out multimillion dollar fortunes to strangers via the Internet. And, it did not send this email.
In fact, the email is an advance fee scam designed to steal your money and personal information. There is no grant and you will never receive any money whatsoever.
If you fall for the ruse and contact ‘Mr. Roy Henshaw’, you will be told that you must pay various fees before your ‘grant’ can be processed. You will be told you must send money to cover a range of supposed expenses such as tax, legal costs, banking fees, and delivery fees. And, the scammers will insist that this money must be paid in advance and cannot be taken out of the supposed grant itself. The scammers will continue to ask for more and more of these fees until you finally realize that you are being scammed or simply run out of available funds. No matter how much money you send, you will never receive the promised grant, which never existed to begin with. At the end of the scam, the criminals will simply disappear with your money and you will never hear from them again.
Moreover, during the course of the scam, they may have managed to trick you into supplying a large amount of your personal and financial information, ostensibly so that you can prove your identity and validate your claim to the grant money. They may later use this accumulated information to steal your identity.
Be very wary of any message that claims that you have been unexpectedly awarded a grant that you have never applied for or have won a large prize in a lottery that you have never entered. Scams like this one are very common and have been around for many years. In fact, they well and truly predate the Internet. In the old days, the same scam messages were sent by letter and, later, fax.
Last updated: March 15, 2016
First published: March 15, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen