Scammers have turned to the latest philanthropic initiative by MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to help people cope with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MacKenzie Scott acquired as part of their divorce settlement with Bezos, Amazon has a $ 58 billion stake. She pledged to spend the majority of the fortune on charity, spending nearly $ 6 billion in 2020 alone.
Scott did not rely on any known foundation, headquarters, or organization to distribute the gifts a public website. There was also no known way to reach their representatives.
However, they hired a team of consultants to identify organizations that are helping people cope with the effects of the pandemic.
Scott has been recognized for her donation method because it helps get money faster to those who need it.
“The pandemic has increased the need to get money out the door as quickly as possible” said Benjamin Soskis, Senior Research Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy, told AFP: “She made a point of giving money and getting out of the way,” Soskis said .
“Philanthropists often see themselves as part of the process, with multiple reviews and ratings and metrics that can be very annoying. “
But the method is now being exploited by scammers who use their names to get people out of their money. And Nigerian-linked scammers were fingered in the lavish conspiracy.
The New York Times reported the case of a struggling Australian mother of five who cheated on over A $ 10,000 after being brought to believe was that she received $ 250,000 from MacKenzie Scott.
Danielle Churchill was in dire need of financial help when she was contacted by the fictional MacKenzie Scott Foundation in 2020.
With her, Churchill, Diagnosed with autism and requiring special training, and her mother, who needed dialysis, believed a gift of $ 250,000 would help solve her problems “Form” sent to her and an online account with the Investors Bank and Trust Company set up.
She could see USD 250,000 in the account. However, since she was in Australia, she was asked to apply for a tax number and pay certain fees before accessing the funds.
Churchill researched Mac Kenzie Scott’s charity. She has seen fake Facebook pages, WhatsApp messages and websites.
Scott is unknown to her and has no social media other than her verified Twitter page (with only three tweets posted) and a Medium account. Presence.
Scott also does not give money directly to individuals. Instead, it focuses on universities, food banks, and other charities.
But Churchill wasn’t aware of that. She was also unaware that Investors Bank and Trust was incorporated into State Street Corporation more than 10 years ago, the New York Times reported.
Before she could uncover the scam, she was about 7,900 US dollars scammed sent through a bitcoin app that is effectively paying to be able to claim her money back.
The fake website – ivbntc.com – that she was scammed with was owned by WhoGoHost, a Nigerian web hosting company, registered in Nigeria
A contact person said Monday morning that the company was not aware of website activity and asked to send an email to [email protected], for more information.
What we know about ivbntc.com
The website was first registered on October 2, 2020 and will expire on October 2, 2021. The details provided for the website indicated that the registrant listed 18, San Carlos, Los Angeles, California as the contact address.
A Google Maps and Apple Maps search of the address found it to be is a forgery, as there is no number 18 in the specified street.
For example, a Lichfield Bank is listed that operates from this address. According to the British Museum, a Lichfield Bank operated between 1765 and 1855. The bank, which claimed to be operating in the United States, is not listed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which “insures deposits; audits and monitors financial institutions for security, solidity and consumer protection. “