A new email scam using the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s name is doing the rounds, linking the Foundation to a spurious programme aimed at tackling deforestation and climate change.
The scam is a phishing exercise, aimed at the theft of personal identity and should not be entertained in any way. The Foundation is not directly involved in tackling deforestation or climate change.
Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords, according to Phishing.org.
The information is then used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.
In an email with the subject line “Climate Change Awareness”, the scamsters forward people an attachment titled Nature.pdf. In the attached flyer it is claimed that the International Association of Forest Eco-Systems and Climate Change and the Foundation are collaborating in an internet raffle draw.
The International Association of Forest Eco-Systems and Climate Change does not exist.
The letter tells the recipient their email address was one of only 18 selected in a computer ballot system and that they have won $974 000. They are then asked to provide personal details: name, country of residence, address, telephone and fax numbers, marital status, occupation, date of birth, sex and an alternate email address.
The Foundation warns people to ignore this email scam.
The flyer can be viewed below.