Phishing Alert: UN COVID-19 Relief Fund

Written by Publisher on . Posted in IT Advisory

The current pandemic has spurred the occurrence of online scams. It comes in many forms, such as but not limited to text messages, phone calls, emails, and social media. The perpetrators will fool their victims with business-like demeanor, generic aliases, and charming words which in the end will leave the victim hanging, and definitely an empty pocket if the scam is completed. A concerned netizen shared the following scam message to warn the public of the manipulative and deceptive nature of these scammers (Phishing message highlighted in italics). 

From: First Citizens Bank <expressatmservices@fcbdirect.com>
Date: Tue, May 19, 2020 at 8:07 AM
Subject: We are waiting for your response
To: <email omitted>
First Citizens Bank
175 West Main Street
El Cajon, CA 92020
United States of America
Direct Phone: +1(619)-489-6223.

Attention: (Name omitted),

We have issued your ATM Card of USD120,000.00 which will be activated when you have confirmed that the ATM Card is with you. We will email you the activation instructions via the email once the confirmation regarding the receipt of the ATM Card is received from you. We wish to inform you that the ATM Card will dispense a total of USD120,000.00 or its equivalent depending on the currency of the ATM you use our issued card on. In other words, the currency you will receive depends on the currency of the ATM you use the ATM Card in accessing. The daily cash withdrawal limit is set at USD10,000.00 or its equivalent.

We have been talking with the COVID-19 Relief Fund organizing committee regarding the delivery of your ATM Card to you because of the insistence of the courier/delivery company that the courier and insurance fees for the delivery of ATM Card have to be paid before dispatching your ATM Card from the from the United States to your given address. However, the COVID-19 Relief Fund organizing committee reached the conclusion that you as a winner will be responsible for the payment of the courier and insurance fees for the delivery of your ATM Card.  

According the courier/delivery company, the Courier Delivery Fee is US$80.00 while the Insurance Fee is US$150.00. In essence, you will have to pay a total sum of two hundred and thirty United States dollars (US$230.00) which in your currency is about eleven thousand, eight hundred Philippine peso (PHP11,800.00) according to the courier/delivery company.  If you are ready for the payment of the courier and insurance fees, inform us and we will issue you with a bank account through which you are to make the payment. If on the other hand you are not willing/able to make the payment, also inform us and we will have your ATM Card cancelled according to the directives given to us by the COVID-19 Relief Fund organizing committee. We are waiting to read from you.

Yours faithfully,
Mr. Michael Roberts.  

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Global COVID-19 Relief Fund
Los Angeles Emergency Payment Office
10351 Santa Monica Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90025
United States of America.

Dear Winner,

We write to inform you that we have completely verified your claim using the details you provided for us. Your phone number <Omitted> which is attached to reference number: UN/CO19/2131 won the sum of hundred and twenty thousand United States dollars (US$120,000.00). Our means of payment is through the issuance of an ATM (Master) Card which can be used in making withdrawal at any ATM point anywhere in the world. The cash withdrawal limit of the ATM (Master) Card has been set at US$10,000.00 per day, this means that going by the amount you won you will be able to receive the complete amount within 12 days.

Your ATM (Master) Card of US$120,000.00 has been issued by our paying bank, the bank will directly courier the ATM (Master) Card to your address and you will receive it within 4-5 working days. We therefore ask you to immediately reconfirm your full names, address and telephone number to the paying bank and also mention that you are contacting them in respect of your ATM (Master) Card as you were directed to do by Mr. David Foster of the COVID-19 Relief Fund. Below is the email address of our paying bank you are to contact:

Email Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note:

1. You are expected to contact the bank for the second time through the email once you have received your ATM (Master) Card. This will enable the bank to email you the activation instructions of your ATM (Master) Card so you can use it in making withdrawals from the ATM.

2. If your ATM (Master) Card is not dispatched within 14 days from today, the ATM (Master) Card will be invalidated and rewarded to another lucky person during the second edition of the COVID-19 Relief Fund. What this means is that you will no longer be eligible to redeem your COVID-19 Relief Fund prize.

Yours sincerely,
Mr. David Foster.
Payment Coordinator.

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united nations <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

COVID-19 Relief Fund
Los Angeles Emergency Payment Office
10351 Santa Monica Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90025
United States of America.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We wish to congratulate you for emerging as one of the recipients of the Global COVID-19 Relief Fund program. This cash grant is basically to salvage your basic needs and those around you, it is a gift and you will never be required to pay it back. We, therefore, encourage you to make yourself and the people around you live better with the cash grant you have won during this COVID-19 pandemic. This program is funded with donations from the United Nations Agencies, Telecommunications Companies, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations and Wealthy Individuals who are all working to mitigate the sufferings emitted on individuals by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, we have a total of six hundred and eighty two million United States dollars (US$682,000,000) to be paid out as cash relief in this first edition of the COVID-19 Relief Fund. We have eighteen emergency payment offices across the world to make sure that all winners are paid within a reasonable period of time. You are to note that all participant's mobile telephone numbers were picked through a random sampling and your mobile telephone number emerged as a winner and for this reason, you were told to contact us for your claim.

All you have to do now is to provide us with the below information to enable us completely verify your claim and pay you:

Full Names: <Omitted>
Residential/Official Address (Not P. O. Box):<Omitted>
City <Omitted>
State/Province:<Omitted>
Postal Code:4217
Country:Phillipines
Amount Won:USD 120,000.
Winning Mobile Telephone Number:<Omitted>

Ref No:UN/C019/2131
Date you received the winning notification:May 15,2020
Attach a Scanned Copy of your Identity Card (ID Card):
Age:<Omitted>
Sex:<Omitted>
Occupation:<Omitted>

As a security measure, you are advised to keep your winning confidential until you have received your relief fund. This is mainly to avoid putting up a double claim with your information which will automatically result to the cancellation of your relief fund. We are now waiting for the above required details to enable us verify your claim and pay you.

Yours sincerely,
Mr. David Foster.
Payment Coordinator.

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The public is advised not to believe and reply to such deceptive message from unverified senders to avoid being a victim of an elaborate scam which can lead to grave financial loss and disclosure of sensitive personal data. Be aware and be vigilant while using online services and applications.

 

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