It has been more than a year since I first warned you about scams related to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but after receiving an email from a Scamicide reader telling me his story about almost becoming a victim of this particular scam, I decided that it was a good time to remind you all about this scam.  The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a well-known, legitimate charity founded by Microsoft creator Bill Gates and his wife. It does not give random grants to people, however since 2015 a scam based on that premise has been victimizing people. Sometimes potential victims of this scam are targeted through emails.  Other times, such as in the case of the Scamicide reader it was through a Facebook message.  Below is a copy of the Facebook post that has been used to perpetrate this scam.. As with many similar scams, when someone responds to the email or social media post they are told that they need to pay a fee in order to receive their prize. One recent victim paid $11,000 to the scammers before she realized that it was a scam.  The Scamicide reader was told that through the scam he was told he had to pay a delivery charge of approximately $625.

The Facebook post presently circulating appears to come from the “Bill Gate Foundation,” which right away is an indication that it is a scam since it is missing the “s” at the end of Bill Gates’ name.  The post also contains a photograph of Gates helping a family.  Here is a copy of the Facebook post presently circulating which again misspells Gates’ name.

“MY NAME IS BILL GATE, I AM THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD

Tell me one thing you need from me, and i will do it for you

1. M0NEY – 5OOK

2. CAR

3. PHONE

4. VISA

5. SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY ABROAD

6. PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS

7. OTHERS SIGNIFY

Use the (SEND MESSAGE) button below and send me a message today, and I will surprise you..

Start now!”

TIPS

Lottery and sweepstakes scams continue to snare people because too many of us get blinded by our own greed to remember that while it is difficult to win any lottery, it is impossible to win one that you have never entered.  Further, no legitimate lottery ever will ask you to pay anything to claim your prize.  While income taxes are owed on lottery winnings, those taxes are either deducted from your prize before you receive your prize as with state sponsored lotteries or you receive the entire prize and are responsible on your own for paying the income taxes on your winnings.  No legitimate lottery or sweepstakes ever collects income tax payments from lottery winners.

Another telltale indication that this is a scam is the poor grammar used in the Facebook post which often is an indication that the scam is originating in a country where English is not the primary language.
The real Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a page on their website where they warn you about the various scams linked to their foundation. https://www.gatesfoundation.org/media-center/press-releases/2012/11/reporting-email-scams  It should be noted that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation does not give grants to individuals, does not give grants that have not been applied for and do not charge any fees.

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