I have been writing about scams related to Mavis Wanczyk for four years..  Many of you may not remember the name of Mavis Wanczyk, but she was the lucky winner of a 758 million dollar Powerball drawing in 2017. Not long after she claimed her prize, a scam started appearing in which many people received emails with the message line referring to the Mavis  Wanczyk Cash Grant. The email indicated that you were chosen to receive a large cash grant from Mavis  Wanczyk. All the lucky strangers receiving the emails had to do was provide personal information in order to qualify for the grant.  Since that time  there have been a multitude of various new incarnations scams that share the same hook which is that Mavis Wanczyk is giving money away to lucky people.  People responding to the scam soon learn that there are a number of costs that you need to pay in order to receive the gift that never comes or they are required to provide personal information such as their Social Security number which leads to their becoming a victim of identity theft.

But move over Mavis, Pierre Omidyar is the new hook for this type of scam.  Actually the scam is not really new as it has been turning up in emails like the one copied below for two years.  Once again there is a bit of truth to hide the scam.  Pierre Omidyar is indeed a wealthy man, primarily earned from his creation of eBay.  It is also true that he is charitably inclined and has established the Omidyar Network which is a charity through which he gives money to non-profit and for profit business ventures.  He absolutely does not, however, give vast amounts of money to strangers.   As in the Mavis Wanczyk scams, if you respond to the email in which you are told of your good fortune you will either end up paying fees for a gift you never receive or you provide personal information that is used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Either way you lose.

It is interesting to note in the email shown below sent in by a Scamicide reader the  email address of the sender is an Australian email address has no relationship to Pierre Omidyar.

From: Pierre Omidyar <toursbookings@vis.org.au>
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 9:59 AM
To: YOU <toursbookings@vis.org.au>
Subject: Pierre’s Gift

Greetings to you and your family.

This email will come to you as too good to be true!

In a million years, I never thought I would do something like this.

My Name is Pierre Omidyar, Below is a Link of me and what i do.

http://www.forbes.com/profile/pierre-omidyar/

I have been giving my wealth away for a while now to various charities and causes I really care about but recently I had an epiphany and I realized I need to be more personal with my giving.

I want to touch ordinary people in a way that has never been done before.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2010/09/23/pierre-omidyar-ridiculous-rich-and-giving-it-all-away-2/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/20/ebay-founder-pierre-omidyar_n_1020884.html

So I decided I was going to contact 20 people via their email address which I paid for from a Marketing Firm.

If you receive this email, I am giving you $1.9 Million.

Thinking about it again, I must be crazy to do something like this but crazy is what made me who I am today so lets go for it!

All you have to do is reply to this email with your full names and you will be paid $1.9 Million.

This is my personal journey to self-fulfilment, I hope you accept this special gift from me and my family.

Pierre Omidyar

TIPS

It is difficult to win a lottery you have entered. It is impossible to win one that you have never entered and neither lottery winners, nor anyone else is sending out messages through the Internet offering free money to anyone who responds with personal information. Never give out personal information that can make you vulnerable to identity theft unless you have absolutely verified that the party requesting the personal information is legitimate and has a legitimate need for the information.  Also never pay anything to a lottery claiming you owe fees in order to claim your prize.  This is a telltale sign of a scam.  No legitimate lottery requires the payment of a fee to collect your winnings or requires you to pay the lottery income taxes on the prize.  While income taxes are due on lottery winnings, those taxes are either deducted by the lottery sponsor before giving you your prize or the prize is given to you in full and you are responsible for the payment of any taxes.  No lottery collects taxes on behalf of the IRS.

Also, neither Mavis Wanczyk nor any other lottery winner is giving away money to strangers and neither is Pierre Omidyar.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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