This is the greatest spam in history

Last week I received the most impressive spam I have ever seen. Here is the text, with identifying characteristics redacted:


 Attn: Sir/Madam, View attached letter and contact Prof. XXXXXX


Attached as a PDF is a letter that begins:

This is to inform you that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and William J. Clinton Foundation has held an Internet Raffle Draw, and your Email Address was among the 18 Email Addresses that was picked through the computer ballot system. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change/Nelson Mandela Foundation and William J. Clinton Foundation was conceived with the objective of human growth, educational and community development, and to create awareness to the dangers posed on our planet by climate change.

To celebrate the 18th anniversary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change/Nelson Mandela Foundation and William J. Clinton Foundation in conjunction with the United Nations (UN) is giving out a yearly award of $900,000 (Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) to 18 lucky recipients.

I’ve uploaded the letter to my personal webspace (after stripping identifiable information, which frankly is probably false anyway). The whole thing is worth reading.

What’s impressive about this is the way it plays on a prospective victim’s emotions, especially if the target is of a socially liberal persuasion. Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are involved. I’m being asked to help protect and save our planet! And I’ve won a grant – these big international organizations totally make grants, right? It couldn’t hurt to see where this is going. Also helping its credibility is the professional-looking email address for the “consultant” the target is referred to.

I now wonder whether there are other variants on these, targeted at different groups. For conservatives, for example, you would want to invoke religious groups, Ronald Reagan, and maybe Freedom House.

7 thoughts on “This is the greatest spam in history”

  1. i received one today, i thought it was hilarious , its as if they tried to fit as many long words as possible to make it seem legit . and also because it doenst ask you for any bank details on the first email people think its real . i feel sorry for anyone that gets taken in and i just hope that EVERYONE googles it first to see all the information about it being a scam.

  2. I received one today, 12.8.14. What makes it really worrying is that, for me, it was just plausible because I have published academic papers on greenhouse gases and written chapters in books on possible climate change. I googled UNFCCC NMF just now, and found this Spam Alert. So thank you to those who have contributed earlier. I do not normally add comments to sites that I know nothing about, but I am breaking my own rule here because this is such a scandal.

  3. I did receive one today! I knew there was something fishy in there. Googled, and found that it was a spam! This is too much. Where are we going!

  4. Thanks for the email, but to a surprise, this is a real April Full. The was of it, is that, tarnishing the image of the mentioned Foundations whose objectives is to make a planet free of environmental pollution.

  5. I had gotten one as well and put it aside with a bunch of ???? Cleaning out stuff on my laptop and found it again and had a moment of thinking it might have ignored it too long.
    Aha! Mine was in honor of the 24th Anniversary of the UN INFCC and was “awarded” to 24 lucky recipients. What gave it away was the fact that it was not addressed to me personally and there were no instructions on how to claim the money (obviously to be done at a large public event) etc. etc. and not directed to any acceptance address.

    I’M GLAD it WAS a spam. But it seemed more like a spoof!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *