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No, you have not won £990,000. Don’t fall for the Covid grant scam

Bond notes in vault

We have talked about various online scams here on Techzim. We have discussed how you can protect yourself from them and I hope we are all helping those in our circle of acquaintances who may fall victim.

Two of the main weaknesses we all have that scammers exploit are greed and desperation. When we are in that state of mind, a chance to make some money is hard to pass on. All red flags are ignored, reason suspended and we dive deep into a trap. Only to come out worse off in the end.

Sometimes when you hear of a certain scam that worked on a lot of people, you can’t help but marvel at the creativity of the scammers. Some of us are cynical / suspicious by nature and so hardly fall for any scams. Which also means missing out on some good deals we incorrectly judge to be scams. But there are scams that even we read about and think, ‘I’d have fallen for that one.’

The one we have today is not of that kind. Instead, it’s one you can’t imagine people falling for. Then you think about people who thought they would get millions from a Nigerian prince and freely sent their life savings to a scammer. The realisation being that scammers can be lazy and still succeed.

The Covid grant scam

Some con artists are pretending to be from Coca-Cola and telling would-be victims that they have won £990,000 cash. Imagine winning that kind of money. That’s five wives kind of money and so I would imagine someone somewhere would be tempted.

You see, the Coca-Cola Foundation does have grants supporting those who are working to stop the spread of Covid-19. They have distributed millions worldwide in grants. 

Some scammers are sending messages pretending to be the official Coca-Cola Foundation telling people that they have been granted almost a million pounds. See the text message they are sending. 

Your mobile no has won £990,000 GBP cash reward from Coca-Cola covid-19 UK grant mobile draw, to claim send details to e-mail: c7885p@outlook.com

Message from scammers

How we know this is a scam

This one is so poorly executed almost everyone can dismiss it outright. The main thing being that if you use common sense you will ask yourself what work you are doing to stop the spread of Covid-19. If you aren’t doing anything noteworthy, why would you be getting a grant for that. 

Noone would be expected to know all the details about all the giveaways/grants worldwide and so you might be thinking, what if the would-be victim did not know they wouldn’t qualify for this particular grant? That’s where Google should be one’s friend. If there is a grant doling out a million pounds, you should be able to find the terms and conditions online.

They tried to make the language seem legit and it’s good enough to convince many. That’s one thing to take note of, most scams do not come in broken English / bad spelling anymore. 

They were lazy with the email though. The Coca-Cola Foundation would not be using such an e-mail address. Some of the serious scammers would have created new email addresses like cocacolla@outlook.com or coccacola.grants@gmail.com to at least have ‘Coca-Cola’ in there. Intentionally misspelt of course, hoping you won’t notice.

We have seen the same before. Some local scammers were sending messages to CBZ customers telling them that there were problems with their accounts just so they could get passwords and PINs. 

So, in some scams you will get perfectly written messages with official looking email addresses and so you just have to skeptical of all electronic communications to be safe. If it appears you have won some money/gadgets/car etc, in 99.999% of cases someone is trying to con you. 

In closing

The person who received the message said to me, ‘this is probably not real, right?’ They felt it was too good to be true but were holding a little hope it might be true. So, we still have work to do. We have to help our family and friends because even with some of these scams that you would not even give a second look, someone you know would be tempted.

Found out more about how you can protect yourself and them:

Enough with the crypto scams already, help prevent them

Are you sure you’re not vulnerable if your phone is stolen?


Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

11 thoughts on “No, you have not won £990,000. Don’t fall for the Covid grant scam

  1. I always used to laugh off these SMSs and emails thinking noone would believe them. There are a lot of gullible people out there. Like you rightfully said the gullibility is borne out of greed and desperation.

    A few months ago a not so distant relative called asking me to help her pay for the clearance of her package that was stuck at Cape Town International Airport. She wanted me to pay the money into an S.A account and she would give me USD cash in Harare. I asked her why she would be paying clearance fees for a Zim bound package at CPT International Airport? This is when she told me an interesting tale. She is in some religious group on social media and one of the group members upon hearing how she was struggling to make ends meet decided to help her by sending her a package with US$15K cash in it. The only catch was she had to pay “clearance fees” herself which amounted to R3500(~US$200). I asked her why someone someone who is gifting her $15K wouldn’t be able to pay US$200 for her and why the gifter wasn’t using Western Union, Moneygram e.t.c? I refused to make the payment for her and she found someone else to do it for her. She hasn’t received her “package” yet.

    We may dismiss these messages but all these scammers need to make bank is for just a few people to fall for this. It’s sad we now have Yahoo boys in Zimbabwe.

    1. Oh man, these guys! Just heard someone who did some work for my cousin fell for an inheritance scam. Got strung along till he borrowed from as many people as he could and sent a ‘processing’ fee of a couple of thousand. It sucks but the threat is real even in Zim.

  2. There is a simple way to find out if something is legit or a scam.
    If the payout is many multiples the investment it’s a scam. (the jury is still out on NFT’s)
    Does it require you to circumvent the proper channels or the law (this is a hard one for Zimbabweans after all paying bribes, avoiding duty, going the long way round instead of straight is practically a way of life)
    Does it imply that you would have to be a fool to miss out on this opportunity (Zimbabweans just accept that you are stupid just look at the state of the country)
    Honesty is the best policy It’s easier to con a dishonest person than a honest one (another hard one for Zimbabweans some of them abandon their morals for embarrassingly small amounts of money)

  3. Fire is the best teacher and some only learn by being burnt. I’ve given up on trying to convince people something is a scam, just let them do what they want to do. You even have to argue and prove your scam case. Why would Toyota just give you a double cab from the blue? You have never dealt with Toyota, neither do you even drive. Why would Emirates just give you a ticket? You have never even flown before.

    I think these are types of things whose awareness should be taught in school. It will embed it into the younger generations “common sense”. These older folk can’t be helped, they believe in miracles.

  4. I got this one a few months ago and i couldn’t stop laughing 😂😂😂😂

    “Congrats! Your mobile Number has won you $850,000 USD in the 2021 pepsi Draw in USA. To redeem, send your Name and mobile Number to: pepsiaw@hotmail.com

  5. You may think scamming is a North, West and East African thing. But, it is right in our backyard.

    My landlady is one of the luck victims to recover her US$150. Thanks to undercovers who traced the Yahoo boys because they used CABS bank account.Had they used other means, it could have been another statistic.

    What happened was that someone with a UK number approached her on WhatsApp asking for friendship and later lover. After a week, this guy showed her with gifts…phones, clothes, money.

    Someone with a Zim number called her that they need US200 to clear and deliver her parcel. She had US150 at home. She tried to run around but failed to raise the balance. She then agreed with the scammers to deposit what she have and then deposit balance later. She shared her story with no one.

    Then, after a week, she decided to break silence and told her friend who immediately warned about Yahoo Boys. The next day she then reported the matter to the police. It took the detectives 3 months to pin down the culprits. The bank statement that was extracted from CABS had lots of US deposits. She was refunded and what happened to the Yahoo Boys is history

  6. I know of a person who operates a fake facebook account that has been operational for a decade with a lot of friends, he just downloaded pics of a beautiful ladies and I tell you they come in all shapes and size to “her” inbox from all over the world kkkk what really beats me is the guy actually uses his wife particulars when people are sending him money. People are soo gullible they just fall for anything especially these love scams the guy actually bought a car scamming people …vanhu vanoda zvinhu and I think they deserve what they get

  7. Hiweee the best scammers are prostitutes munoita nguva yakareba muchinwa uchimutengera motowirirana kuty handei kunyt vakasazongorohweswa one round obva wanzi ngatimborare mbichana door rinonokwa obva wanzi murume wangu adzoka kkkkk apo rinenge ringori zheti kuty urohwe bag kkkkkkkk

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