A look at a double-dipping advertising network

“Business Support Giveaway” 419 Scam

If we’re to believe everything our mailbox tells us, the United Nations Foundation are busy sending out missives informing lucky recipients of a “Business Support Give Away” mail that they’re going to make a big difference to their lives with a randomly assigned donation. A really big randomly assigned donation.

How big? Five million US dollars! Hooray!

Unfortunately we can’t get too excited, because it’s just a fresh run of a 419 scam which has been in circulation in similar forms for about a year or two.

419 mail

The mail reads as follows:

Hi, This message is from the United Nations Foundation, When disaster strikes, the world turns to one organization for hope, help, leadership, and coordination: the United Nations. When there is peace to keep between warring factions, the world asks the UN to mobilize peacekeepers, oversee elections, and create stability. In the face of challenges such as climate change, disease or poverty, the United Nations provides the platform for international cooperation.

The United Nations is the one international organization with the reach and vision capable of solving global problems therefore every year the United Nations Foundation gives out USD $5,000.000.00 (Five Million United State Dollars) to a randomly selected individual to help start a business, grow an existing business or give someone out there a better life.

If you are reading this message you should count yourself lucky, this simply means that your email address has been selected as the 2015 winner of our annual social business support give away. Kindly get back to me at your earliest convenience so we can be sure your email address is still valid. You will also be required to send the below information to me so i can forward it to our financial manager to start processing the release of fund to you.

1. Your Full Name / Company Name 2. Your Residential Address 3. Your Direct Telephone / Cell Phone Number 4. Occupation 5. Age 6. Marital Status

I await your response so i can guide you how to receive the grant.


Regards, Richard S. Parnell Chief Operating Officer United Nations Foundation

Not the most watertight of scams when your gameplan is effectively “We’re all about solving global problems and saving the world in times of disaster, so here’s five million dollars to some random net dweller who might already own a bank. Please don’t add three more layers of gold plating to your already shiny yacht.” Of course, most recipients probably don’t own a bank or a gold-plated yacht and may well throw reason out the window in favour of hitting the reply button.

As with all mails of this type, the only thing you’re going to get is some identity fraud, financial loss and the possibility of turning yourself into a money mule. It certainly isn’t worth responding to the senders, so feel free to delete it and advise any recipients you know to do the same thing. This is one piece of business support you can definitely do without.

Christopher Boyd


Christopher Boyd

Former Director of Research at FaceTime Security Labs. He has a very particular set of skills. Skills that make him a nightmare for threats like you.