Summary: Email claims that the recipient has been chosen as the beneficiary of the "Exxon Mobil International Award" and is eligible to receive 3 million US dollars (Full commentary below).
Example:(Submitted, October 2008)
ExxonMobil - Taking on the world's toughest energy challenges.
Our Reference: EMIA/ 2008/19513-07.
I want You to Accept My Sincere Congratulation As Your Email Address Have Been Shortlisted as One Of the Beneficiary Of this Year Exxon Mobil International Award.(EMIA) You are Advised to Read and Understand the Explanation Of this Scheme as Analyzed Below So that You Will Understand this International Award from the Exxon Mobil International.
*ABOUT EXXON MOBIL OIL AND GAS COMPANY
Exxon Mobil Is One Of the Biggest Multi-National Oil and Gas Company In the World that Specialize In Exploring, Refining and Marketing Of Crude Oil and Have Been Rated the Largest and the Biggest Oil and Gas Producing Company 17 Times Ever Since We Started Operation In 1916.
Due to the Profit Max Of the Company, We Were Mandated By the United Nations (UN), Organization Of the Petroleum Exporting Company (OPEC), And the World Crude Oil Monitoring Forum to Always Use a Reasonable Percentage Of Our Yearly Profit to Help the Society at Large.
It Is In View Of this That We Have Always Empower and Assist Some Governmental and Non-Governmental Agencies Like the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), Future Group Europe, World Action Committee On AIDS e.t.c Financially, We are Committed to Giving Most of this Organization a Reasonable Percentage Of Our Annual Profit to Enhance and Promote their Activities For the Sake Of Humanity.
On July 17th, 2005, Microsoft Corporation in collaboration with Society for Internet Management Signed a Memorandum Of Understanding With the Exxon Mobil Where the Later (Exxon Mobil) Agree to Always Donate a Reasonable Percentage Of Her Yearly Profit Out to Promote the Use Of Internet.
That Is: Exxon Mobil Since January 2006 Enhances a Hundred People With Financial Assistance to Liberate their World and Help their Society With a Better Living.
After The Successful Completion Of Our Market Year Of 2008 Which Ended August 8,2008. This Company Have Realized Profit Which Is About 0.7% Lower Than What We Have Realized In 2007, It Is In View Of this That Three Hundred Million United State Dollars ($300,000,000) Have Been Released to Be Shared Among the One Hundred Active Lucky Internet Users For the Year, Leaving Each Person With three Million United State Dollars ($3,000,000USD) each.
On Behalf Of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Of Exxon Mobil Corporation Mr. Rex W.Tillerson, I am Pleased to inform you That Your Email Address Have Been Selected to Be Among This One Hundred Lucky Email Address For the Year 2008 International Award..
The Microsoft Corporation Have Always Supplied this Company With Fifty Thousand Email Addresses Of Active Internet Users Yearly, And Your Email Address Was Submitted as One Of the Active Internet Users For the Year 2008. After Email Address are Been Submitted to Us For the Random Selection By Microsoft Corporation, The Best One Hundred Members Of Staff For the Year 2007 Picked All Over a Hundred Branch Office Of the Exxon Mobil Corporation were Invited For a Dinner at the Caribbean Where they Were Privileged to Pick One Email Address Each at Random.
Mr. Kabir Abdul From Our Moscow Office Who Was the Best Staff at Our Moscow Branch Office Picked Your Email Address When He Was Asked to Pick at Random, Therefore Giving You the Opportunity to Claim For Yourself a Total Cash Of Three Million United States Dollars. ($3,000,000).
Please Understand that this Is Neither a Lottery nor a Gambling Winning, You are Expected to Claim Your Funds In this Branch office as Been Zoned, The Reason Why It Has Been Zoned Is to Avoid Mix Up Of Claims and Unnecessary Crowdie Environment In Any Of Our Offices, This Is Why Winners Have Been Zoned Into Twenty Different Zones Of Five Winners Each, I am Pleased to Inform You That You Have Been Zone to Claim Your Winning Here at Zone D With the Head Office Here In the United Kingdom, I Wish to Let You Know that I am the Officer In charge Of Your Claims.
Your Funds Will Be Released to You any Moment From Now, But Before Any Further Processing, We Need to Have Your Information Registered On Our Database, Please Fill The Form as Below.
*Please Note That Your Lucky Number is 2008/69 As You Were The 69th Beneficiary That Was Selected.
Soon as We Receive The Information Above, You Will Be Duly Informed On What Next to Do.
Get Back to Me With Information Required Soonest So that Your Funds Can Be Officially Released Immediately.
Once Again, Congratulations.
Dr. Jackson Conary jr
Public Welfare Department,
London, United Kingdom
This email claims that the recipient has been chosen to receive 3 million US dollars as part of the yearly "Exxon Mobil International Award". According to the message, Exxon Mobil has been "mandated" by the UN, OPEC and the "World Crude Oil Monitoring Forum" to use a percentage of its profits to "Help the Society at Large". The "lucky" recipient is supposedly one of 100 beneficiaries whose email addresses were picked at random from a pool of 50,000 supplied by Microsoft. To collect his or her award, the recipient is instructed to reply to the "officer-in-charge" with the requested personal information and await further instructions.
However, the message is not from Exxon Mobil and is, in fact, the initial play in a scheme designed to steal money and personal information from recipients. The promised award does not exist. Those who respond to the scam email by supplying the requested information will then be asked to send upfront payments, ostensibly to allow the release of the "award money". The scammers will claim that these payments are required to cover various costs such as insurance or banking fees. They will insist that these payments cannot be deducted from the award fund itself due to legal restrictions.
Unfortunately, victims who fall for this ruse will never receive the promised award money nor are they likely to recover any money they have sent to the scammers. If they supply sensitive personal and financial information requested by the criminals during the course of the scam, they may also become victims of identity theft.
At first glance, the message might seem plausible to some. However, a more thorough examination should quickly reveal the absurdity of its claims. Organizations such as the United Nations have no power to "mandate" companies to hand over portions of their profit. Of course, many companies, large and small, do indeed give money to worthwhile causes, but they certainly do not randomly hand out millions of dollars to individuals to use in any way they like. Moreover, it is also quite absurd to suggest that Microsoft would participate in such a venture by providing 50 thousand email addresses, presumably without the permission or knowledge of their owners. The overuse of capitals and the strange grammatical structure also make it obvious that the message is not the official notification it pretends to be.
This scam attempt is just one among thousands of variations based on the same basic idea. The primary aim of these scammers is to convince gullible people that, by paying small amounts of money in advance, they will subsequently receive a much, much larger amount of money in return for their "investment". The larger sum, which exists solely in the imagination of the criminals organizing the scam, is the juicy bait dangled in front of potential victims.
Advance fee scams have been around for many years. Before the arrival of the Internet, scammers conducted the same types of fraudulent activities via surface mail. In fact, advance fee scam messages are still distributed by post. However, the Internet has made the scammer's task much easier. With the click of a mouse button, the scammer can reach millions of potential victims around the world with virtually no cost via emails such as the one included above. It only needs a few recipients to take the bait and send money and information to make the scam a lucrative exercise for the scammers.