How To Spot A Scam: Fondation de France

I continue to have visitors reach my blog because they have been contacted by Sterling Who’s Who and invited to sign up with them. I am sure one reason my complaint was resolved so quickly was the fact that my blog features so prominently on search engines, and thus the post on my blog was being found by many of the company’s would-be customers.

Let me, as a public service of sorts, share another e-mail I just received, purporting to be from an organization called FOUNDATION DE FRANCE.


The Fondation De France(FDF) would like to
notify you that you have been chosen by the
board of trustees as one of the final recipients
of a cash Grant/Donation for your own personal,
educational, and business development.

The FDF, established 1977 by the Multi-Million
groups and now supported by the Economic
Community for West African States (ECOWAS),
United Nations Organization (UNO) and the
European Union (EU) was conceived with the
objective of human growth, educational, and
community development.

In conjunction with the ECOWAS, UNO and the
EU, We are giving out a yearly donation of
US$1,350,000.00 (One Million, Three Hundred
And Fifty Thousand United States Dollars)each
to 100 lucky recipients.These specific
Donations/Grants will be awarded to 100 lucky
international recipients worldwide; in different
categories for their personal business
development and enhancement of their
educational plans. This is a yearly program,
which is a measure of universal development

You are required to contact the Executive Secretary
below, for qualification documentation
and processing of your claims. After contacting
our office,you will be given your donation pin
number, which you will use in collecting the
funds. Please endeavor to quote your
Qualification numbers (FDF-444-6647-9163)in
all discussions. You are also required to contact
the executive sec.with the following requirements


1. Full names:
2. Residential
3. Phone number:
4. Fax number:
5. Occupation:
6. Sex:
7. Age:
8. Nationality:
9. Present Country:
10.Next of kin

Executive Sec. Mr.Desmond Richards.

You are by all means hereby advised to keep
this whole information confidential until you
have been able to collect your donation, as
there have been many cases of double and
unqualified claim, due to beneficiaries informing
third parties about his/her donation.

Maria Riccardo
(Foundation officer)

What are the clear signs that this is a phishing scheme? First, the person who is supposedly the director has a Hotmail address – a sure sign in and of itself. Second, if you go to the organization’s web page and are fortunate enough to know French, they in fact warn about fraudulent e-mails circulating in their name. Third, the English spelling of ‘foundation’ is used at several points in the e-mail, instead of the French one. Fourth, no one will e-mail you out of the blue to give you money, much less a large sum of money. Fifth, there is the statement that you should not tell anyone about this until you’ve sent in your information.

This is a scam, and I’m posting this in the hope that people who might fall for it will do a search first and find this. Hopefully this one is obvious enough that only the ridiculously gullible will fall for it – and if they read this, perhaps not even them.

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  • Ian

    Actually there’s a fifth thing that jumped out at me: ECOWAS? Why would poor West African countries be giving money away?