Sunday, November 27, 2016

Scammers Seeking More Victims

About five years ago, I posted a blog regarding an attempt by scammers to pose as the Grameen Foundation. Grameen soon discovered that their name was being used in attempt to defraud people and even learned about my blog.

Scammers have attempted to run scams while posing as various charitable organizations and it seems that their latest effort involves posing as Alwaleed Philanthropies.

On 13 November 2016, I received this text message on my iPhone:
Subject:Congratulations !!!
Our foundation picked you as beneficiary; send a message from your private email to :-  al_prince_96611@hotmail.c
The sender wasn't another phone number. Instead, the used an email address belonging to a faculty member of a local university. I don't even want to think about what kind of angry responses that person was subjected to by outraged recipients. I haven't posted that person's email address because I don't want her to receive any further communications from angry recipients of the scam text. The only email address that is actually valid is the one they want me to contact: al_prince_96611@hotmail.com
I decided to send a reply to the address they gave and see what kind of reply I would get. Alwaleed Philanthropies' email would be sent from alwaleedphilanthropies.org, not hotmail.com. A few days later, I received a response. I was surprised to see that it was sent from the same address:
Greetings To you

We are highly distinguished and honoured to be in contact and thanks for directing your responses to us. We believe strongly that you can help our humble course. Through our foundation you were picked as a beneficiary, knowing you are capable and competent enough to handle this transaction and offer of ours.

Our philanthropies and our humanitarian activities are without limits, I want to use this medium to send warmth greetings to you and your family. We talk less of ourselves, although we know each other for the first time. I'm writing to you on behalf of our foundation owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.

We have decided to make this donation for you and your family. You can read about him on the Wikipedia link I have provided to you: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Alwaleed_Philanthropies
Alwaleed Philanthropies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
en.wikipedia.org

Alwaleed Philanthropies; Founded: 1980 (according to the "Letter from the Founder" at http://www.alwaleedphilanthropies.org/who-we-are#block-views -annual_letter-block

Also for personal view and more details about his philanthropies

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/saudi-prince-alwaleed-bin-talal-will-donate-entir e-32bn-fortune-to-charity- 10358806.html

Note: We do not make a public show of our philanthropic activities, we kindly advise this letter is confidential and should be kept personal,As you have also read in the link above that '' philanthropy is a personal responsibility'' This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for you and your family. If at any point in time you do not intend to complete this offer for personal reasons best known to you, please you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail.  Please kindly send a disclaimers message /notification via email immediately as feedback.  You are hereby notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.

I want to believe you have read the link provided above. Our foundation has been involved in a lot of charitable and philanthropic activity for community services and educational benefit. Supporting philanthropic activities is part of our humanitarian mission to promote ethical social change and foster a universal sense of responsibility regardless of race, colour, ethnicity as we are all humans. We support and initiates projects around the world, regardless of gender, race or religion. We collaborate with a range of philanthropic, governmental and educational organisations to combat poverty, empower women and the youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education.

We have decided to touch the life of as many persons in your community, using you as a medium.  If you are reading this letter it means you have been picked to receive a donation ceded to you and your family and the entire community as a way of returning back to the public and to say thanks for your support directly or indirectly.  We may not know you, but in our family it is our culture and believes that as human we are all equal and that everyone has the right to work for a living, to support their families. Our offer to you may be little but we kindly advise that you put the funds to good use, so you can support your family and community directly or indirectly.

You are to receive the sum of  2,600,000 Usd directly to help foster our mission, to enable you to support your family, also carry out a community project and also support the less privilege, this is why  we have decided to contact you directly. It is important that you help carry our-our mission of making the world a better place, Together, we can build bridges for a more compassionate, tolerant and accepting world

Kindly send the below information so we can make adequate preparation for the disbursement of the funds to you and your family.

FULL NAMES:
ADDRESS:
AGE:
SEX:
PHONE NUMBER:
OCCUPATION:
COUNTRY:

With this information, all necessary papers needed for the disbursement of the funds will be prepared by our attorney and deposited with our affiliated pay out finance house. 

We expect to read from you as soon as possible

Thanks
Leila Al Solh
Just reading the email reply showed me that English isn't the first language of the sender, though it's better than most scam emails that I have received. An organization as large as Alwaleed would obviously have staff who could write emails in better English than this.

I sent another email in reply to this, asking for a contact phone number. Apparently, the scammers aren't as stupid as I had hoped, because they gave me Alwaleed's real phone number by which to contact them. Calling Alwaleed to ask about my "grant" would waste their time and mine, since no grant is coming my way.

Running a trace of both emails indicates Germany as their point of origin, not Saudi Arabia.

Both emails were signed with the name Leila Al Solh who is a real person and she serves at the vice-president of Alwaleed bin Talal Humanitarian Foundation. It is typical of scammers to pose as a real person associated with a charity they are impersonating.

It should be obvious that Alwaleed Philanthropies does not send out texts to people using addresses of people not attached to their organization. They don't offer money to people they don't know.

This is a scam. They have no intention of sending you any money.

Feel free to ignore any future text messages they send out to you.


Duane Browning
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