The email copied below was sent to us by a Scamicide reader.  This scam is a variation on the Nigerian email scam about which I most recently wrote a few days ago in that it involves you being eligible to receive a tremendous amount of money without any real reason.  In this case, the email refers to the non-existent COVID 19 Economic Relief Fund Grants to make it appear legitimate, but hopefully discerning people receiving such an email will recognize the myriad of red flags that indicate that this is a scam.  Like other similar scams, the scammers hook their victims with promises of large sums of money without having to pay anything to get the large lump sum, but when the scam victims make contact with the scammers they end up repeatedly having to make payments to cover a wide variety of costs related to receiving their funds.  Of course, the victims of the scam end up paying repeatedly without ever getting anything in return.

BBVA Bank
Address: 2001 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77019, USA
Tel: +1-713-510-9915Working Hours:Monday – Friday 8AM–6PM
Saturday – Sunday ClosedREF: BBVAUSA/GOV/RF/GRANT/5M/050920Dear Client,You have a payment of Five Million USD ($5.000.000) with us at BBVA Bank – River Oaks; # 2001 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77019, USA

Your name and email address was submitted to our bank by your State Government as one of the Government recipients to receive the aforementioned COVID-19 Economic Relief Fund /Grants.

Please email this office with a copy of your ID card (Passport or Driving License), your full address, your profession, and your phone number to enable us to process the transfer of your fund before the bank closes today as instructed by your State Government.

Sincerely,

Reba GRAHAM (Mrs.)
Director, Account Management Division BBVA USA
e-Mail: director@usbbva.us

TIPS

While the scammers get an A for effort in tying the scam to Coronavirus relief which is on everyone’s mind, they get an F for just about everything else in this scam email.  Indications that it is a scam are numerous and start with the email address from which it was sent which was an address that had nothing to do with BBVA Bank.  Often phishing emails will carry the logo of companies with which you do business and the better crafted ones appear quite legitimate, however, logos are easy to counterfeit and if the email from which it is being sent is obviously not connected to the purported sender company, you can be sure it is a scam.  Often the email addresses used to send out these phsihing email in vast numbers are email addresses of people whose email accounts have been hacked and made a part of a bot net of computers used to send out large numbers of these phishing emails without the victim of the hack even knowing his or her email account is being used in that manner.

Other indications that this is a scam include the salutation which reads “Dear Client” rather than using your name, the size of the amount of the grant for which you never applied that you are told you will be receiving, and the reference to a non-existent state program without even indicating what state the email refers to.  It is also important to note that legitimate grant programs do not charge anything to apply.  Whenever you receive an email such as this, the best thing to do is to merely chuckle and delete it.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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