Home > Charity Scams > All About the Oxfam Scam

All About the Oxfam Scam

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 5 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
All About The Oxfam Scam

Charity scams are the worst and most insidious of all. People believe things they receive from a charity, especially a major international charity like Oxfam. They have an enviable reputation. But scams use that to convince people of their veracity, and Oxfam has been used badly in a recent charity scam.

How The Oxfam Charity Scam Works

The scam begins with an email that purports to come from Oxfam. It’s a subtle variant on the traditional lottery scam. Instead of a lottery win, though , the email advises that the charity is offering cash grants to individuals, and that to apply you need to reply with a great deal of personal information including your bank account number.

As a giveaway to its dubious quality, the email is sent from a webmail address at live.com, rather than from Oxfam itself.

There’s also an 070 phone number to call to give the information, although it’s suspected that the call is directed overseas, where scammers take the information.

There are several different headers used on the emails, including “Oxfam UK Grant/Donation” and “Final Recipient of Oxfam GB Cash Grant,” among others.The amounts of cash grants mentioned vary, although they’re quite substantial, usually £750,000 or £850,000.

Of course, if you respond and give your personal and financial details, there’s a very strong possibility that you’ll find your identity stolen and your bank account stripped – that’s child’s play to the scammers behind this.

Oxfam has reported the scam to the Charity Commission and the police, and has been quick to point out that it never makes cash grants to individuals. Nor would it make any grant in this lottery-type fashion, and would never ask for any cash upfront when considering an organisation for a grant (some of the emails say that when delivering your details you need to make a cash payment to be considered for this “grant”).

How To Avoid The Scam

If you have a good email filter, there’s a good chance the email will never reach your inbox in the first place. However, if it does, you should be aware immediately that no charity will give grants in this way, and certainly not in a lottery fashion like this. That should raise immediate suspicions.

Secondly, the fact that a webmail address is used, rather than a proper email address should indicate this isn’t from the charity itself. No reputable company or organisation will use a webmail address like live.com, which is meant more for anonymity rather than identification.

Those two things together should spell scam. The fact that a charity is being used becomes irrelevant – it’s simply a vehicle for the scam itself. If anything, the fact that it’s a charity scam makes it more reprehensible.

The simple solution is not to reply. The mail itself raises enough red flags, or certainly should, and nor should you call the number given. Avoidance is the only way with any scam.

If You’re A Victim Of The Oxfam Scam

If you’ve been a victim of the Oxfam scam, you need to inform your bank, so they can change your account. You should also inform the police, although there’s probably little they can effectively do. Inform Oxfam as well, although they have no responsibility, as it helps them build a case against those behind the scam. You will, however, need to act quickly.

You should also inform credit reporting agencies, since one common thing in the case of identity theft is the opening of new credit account. You can put a block on this through the credit reporting agency.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Samh1979
    Re: Builder's Scams
    Don’t fall foul of Arren Safavi from Lancashire decking. He looks and acts all professional however once the deposit is paid that’s him doing a…
    22 April 2022
  • Dia
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    I just received a call from someone saying from Sky not sure if it was genuine. Asked me for my address. Then my bank details, then my password for my…
    2 April 2022
  • Pepper
    Re: Scams And Seniors
    Scammed out of £12500 by a builder who has been to court several times. I paid by my debit card, have I any chance of getting compensation. I am…
    9 September 2021
  • snobbs
    Re: Builder's Scams
    We have been scammed by James Hookey & Libby Hookey... advertised for a roofer on fb, Libby contacted me to say James can help... he came quoted,…
    6 July 2021
  • Villager
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    I received a call from ‘Sky’ this week saying I had overpaid and was due a refund. This seemed fairly plausible as the day before I had telephoned Sky…
    10 June 2021
  • Sam
    Re: Builder's Scams
    Don't use Martin Jacques from swift cavity clear or swift building services based in Manchester.He did a awful job of my garden and charged thousands.
    1 June 2021
  • John
    Re: Bank Identification or BIN numbers Scam
    Okay I just don’t want to euryeurueiieoeoe you talking about to sleep or sleep no sleep sleep no cap on sleep and…
    6 May 2021
  • Scallywaggle
    Re: Builder's Scams
    I have been scammed by a man called James hookey, and his wife Libby hookey, from face book, asking for recommendation, for patio, The wife sends a…
    5 April 2021
  • don’t know
    Re: Vishing Scam
    Had a text message this morning form a mobile number saying that I’ve missed a delivery and that I needed to pay 1.50 to R.M. Lucky enough my iPhone…
    17 March 2021
  • d.a.smith
    Re: Builder's Scams
    DNF Builder and Plastering, based in North East (Newcastle/Gateshead/South Shields/Sunderland), run by David (Mancunian) and Ian. ***Do not…
    28 February 2021