Sometimes it pays to chase up a fake email. A journalist today forwarded me an email purportedly from the Santander Foundation, which had apparently been received by some charities.
Referring to the ‘Santander Community Partnership’ and its matched donations in 2012, it warned that “due to the increase in matched donations requests that we received… the matched donation events we do in my team will be only £1,000 matched instead of the usual £3,500.”
The email did not look genuine: the combination of spelling mistakes, poor grammar, no web link, and a too generic ‘Hi Everyone’ salutation were a giveaway. But why would anyone fake such a message? There was no apparent financial or other gain to be made.
Santander Foundation’s response
So I contacted the Santander Foundation directly to check. They were able very quickly to confirm that the message did not come from them.
Even better, they wanted to emphasise that, in terms of funding, the opposite was true. Foundation Manager Alan Eagle said: “I’m really keen to attract more applications as I have found that the number of applications has been dropping since the summer. This year we have another increase in our budget to £4.5 million.
“The maximum grant available from the Santander Foundation is £10,000 for anywhere in the UK. This is unchanged from 2011.”
He added: “We have a really straightforward application process – no application form, no deadlines and no annual report and accounts. Decisions will be made within six weeks. We offer one-off funding up to £10,000 which can be either revenue or capital or a mixture of the two.”
So, in this case the fake email bearing bad news turned out to reveal just the opposite.
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