'Funding Commitments to Fight COVID-19' Scam
Fraudsters are sending lure emails to unsuspecting users. The fabricated emails pose as notifications being sent by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Users are informed that they have been randomly selected to receive a grant of $1.5 million. The money is supposedly being delivered as part of a $2 billion initiative aimed at helping people deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, all of the claims found in these emails are entirely fabricated and the entire scheme is in no way connected to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or any other legitimate entities.
The apparent goal of the con artists is to convince the unsuspecting recipients of the fake emails to contact a provided email address to receive their promised payment. In reality, the email is being handled by fraudsters or their associates. Anyone who messages the email is risking exposing themselves to various privacy or security risks.
Depending on the specific scheme, con artists may use social-engineering tricks and tactics to obtain private or confidential information from their victims. Users may be asked to provide names, addresses, phone numbers, credentials for social media, online banking, e-commerce accounts or payment details. In many cases, users also are asked to pay bogus 'shipping,' 'administration,' 'banking' or other made-up fees.