Google Foundation Grant Scam: How It Works
Be careful about the Google Foundation Grant Scam happening these days, folks. How does it work? Let’s dive right into it.
The phrase “Google it” – meaning to advise someone to research information on their own – was added to the Webster’s Dictionary of Phrases nine years ago. But with the ubiquitous technology came along a plethora of scammers trying to take advantage of unsuspecting victims, including using the Google Calendar feature.
However, today we are referring to the Google Foundation Scam – there are a few variations of it. In this article, we will show how they work and how YOU can report the criminals. First, let’s take a look at how to easily verify if the emails you receive are actually coming from the real Google headquarters or not.
Watch the video below to see how to identify if an email from Google is real or not:
The Google Awards Scam Looks Like This
In the most recent Google Foundation Grant Scam, people are receiving an email from a so-called Google Foundation. Cheesy, right? The message of this variation of Google Awards Scam states:
“We wish to congratulate you on this note for being selected as a major customer this year. This promotion was set-up to encourage the active users of Google search engine and the Google ancillary services and confirmed by our co-sponsors Visa*/MasterCard* International.
Google is now the biggest search engine worldwide and in an effort to make sure that it remains the most widely used search engine, we ran an online e-mail beta test in which your email address won Eight Hundred and Sixty-Four Thousand Great British Pounds.
Do e-mail the Foundation Board office at once with the Verification and Funds release form below for validation of your grant. You are also advised to contact our Google Payment Coordinator (Mr. Jeremy Allison via the above email) with the following details below to avoid unnecessary delay and complications.
CONTACT: Mr. Jeremy Allison Google Foundation Board (UK)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
MANDATORY VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM -Residential Address: -Tel (Mobile): -Nationality/Country: -Full Name: -Age/Sex: -E-mail Address: -Occupation/Position: -What is your comment on Google Foundation?
Sincerely, Sundar Pichai
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer ©2020 Google Corporation Powered by Google.”
That’s the Google grant scam, sometimes also known as the Google End Of Year Promotion.
Beware of Google’s Anniversary Fake Prize
In the second variation of the Google Foundation Grant Scam, the email comes with the subject “WHAM! Consolation Prize Winning Notice!!!” The body of the email goes on to explain that as a frequent Google user, you have just won a consolation prize, for the “Google 21th anniversary draw”.
The letter is signed by crooks claiming to be Lawrence Page, “Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Google Inc” and Andrew Ferguson, “Google Promotion Board”.
The prizes are given, supposedly, to encourage you to continue using Google as your preferred search engine. All that is required for you to claim your prize is to fill out some personal identifying information and send it back, along with a small fee. Once you do, you are promised to receive the grand prize of $950,000 pounds. Of course, all you receive for your trouble is the theft of your identity.
Alternative Email: Google User Reward Scam
This is the content of the fake Google User Reward email:
“This promotion was set-up to encourage the active users of the Google search engine and the Google ancillary services. Hence we do believe with your winning prize, you will continue to be active and patronage to the Google search engine.
A winning cheque will be issued in your name by Google Promotion Board, and also a certificate of prize claims will be sent alongside your winning Cheque. In your best interest to avoid mix up of numbers and names of any kind, we request that you keep the entire details of your award strictly from public notice until the process of transferring your claims has been completed, and your funds remitted to your account.
This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by participants/non-participants of this program. Kindly fill in the verification and fund release form below. (form contains the name, address, country, nationality, sex, occupation, age, etc).
Please contact your claims agent immediately for due processing and remittance of your prize money to file for your prize claim, kindly contact your claims agent.
Contact claims office: Google Promotion Board, Dr. Andrew Ferguson. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
A third variation of the scam email comes with an ‘Official Notification’ subject title, referring to you with “Dear Google User”. It says you’ve been selected as a winner for using Google services, while attached is their Official Notification letter for your perusal (photo below).
The letter might be signed by a fake Matt Brittin, CEO of Google Ltd UK, or Larry Page, one of the founders of the company.
Google Grant Scam: How To Avoid
While it has been said time and again, it bears repeating: you will never get something for nothing. Google has never given prizes to users as a thank you for using their search engine.
Given that they are the number one preferred search engine – and have been since their inception – they do not have to give prizes to users to encourage them to Google more things. By being aware of the “if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is” school of thought, you will save yourself a lot of trouble.
Last but not least, be aware of two other scams that involve Google’s name: the Google Calendar Invite Scam and the Google Restrictions Scam.
Google Foundation Grant Scam: How To Report
Warn your family and friends about the Google Foundation Grant Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodic emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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