3 min read

Watch Out For United Nations COVID-19 Compensation Email Scams

Alina BÎZGĂ

April 08, 2021

Watch Out For United Nations COVID-19 Compensation Email Scams

Several COVID-19-related scams continue to tease internet users into believing they are about to receive a large sum on behalf of non-existent United Nations programs, Bitdefender Antispam Lab has learned.

In all versions of the scam, recipients are told they will get the funds after the necessary arrangements are made with the beneficiary that, of course, will need to provide his or her personal and financial information.

Even if recipients are not asked to contribute financially in the initial email, as soon as they reply to the correspondence, scammers will make up reasons for why they can”t send the money. At first, they might ask for a small amount to cover taxes and insurance fees, for example. The fraudsters will continue to ask for money as long as the recipient is willing to pay for the so-called reward or compensation.

COVID-19 version of the Nigerian email scam

In this version of the scam, recipients are contacted by a Cash and Payment Coordinator working with the United Nations, tasked with compensating individuals affected by the pandemic. You are one of the lucky 10 chosen beneficiaries who will receive a whopping 1 million dollars. There’s a catch, though.

“We shall share the money 50/50%. [ie] 50% percent for you and 50% me. All I need is your trust that you will keep my share of the money safe,” the scammer says.

He even tries to explain the reason behind your selection. “I contacted you because we are not related and you are not my known friend, no one will suspect me you are included as a beneficiary, because we are not related. If you are interested.”

A sample of the scam letter can be seen below:

$2.5 million coming soon at an ATM near you

In another version, the fraudsters try to trick recipients into thinking they somehow forgot about their COVID-19 compensation fund of $2.5 million, delayed due to payment processing issues. Luckily, the creditor was keen to remind you of this small fortune, conveniently freed from “Confiscation” just for you.

“So we hereby inform you about the ongoing process for your total fund payment, which has been converted to an ATM Card to free it from Confiscation, and all necessary arrangement over the ATM has been granted on your favor for your payment through our office ATM Card Department,” the fraudulent email reads.

Suppose the beneficiary can’t travel to the office, in Madrid, to complete formalities due to COVID-19 restrictions. In that case, the target is assured that he can withdraw the amount from any ATM.

He simply needs to send his full name, home address, mobile phone, and a copy of his ID to the bank’s credit department.

A sample of the scam can be seen below:

Even if these scams seem uncomplicated and easy to avoid, they still plague the digital world – because they work. Scammers know that the pandemic has left millions in financial hardship, and no matter how preposterous these fraudulent emails may seem, some unsuspecting users fall victim.

If you receive similar emails, delete the message. Do not reply to the sender or provide your personal and financial information.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

July 16, 2021

3 min read
How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

July 06, 2021

2 min read
The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

July 02, 2021

4 min read
Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

July 02, 2021

3 min read
Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

June 30, 2021

2 min read
Mobile security threats: reality or myth?

Mobile security threats: reality or myth?

June 13, 2021

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Fraud Family cybercrime ring under the spotlight as arrests made in the Netherlands Fraud Family cybercrime ring under the spotlight as arrests made in the Netherlands
Graham CLULEY

July 23, 2021

3 min read
Homoglyph domains used in BEC scams shut down by Microsoft Homoglyph domains used in BEC scams shut down by Microsoft
Graham CLULEY

July 22, 2021

3 min read
China Sets Up New Worrying Vulnerability Disclosure Rules China Sets Up New Worrying Vulnerability Disclosure Rules
Silviu STAHIE

July 20, 2021

1 min read