Recently an email supposedly from Mackenzie Scott (formerly Bezos) and Dan Jewett has been promising the recipient of the email a grant through a Foundation. While it isn’t the most sophisticated of scams, people appear to be falling for it.
The email address suggests that Scott and Jewett are aiming to give away money to certain individuals, as part of a supposedly altruistic act.
In this article, we take a look at the scam, look at the circumstances behind it, and give some advice on what to do if you come across the email.
Who are Dan Jewett and Mackenzie Scott
Mackenzie Scott is best-known for being the ex-wife of Amazon founder and richest man in the world – Jeff Bezos. After several years of marriage, Bezos and Scott split in 2019 after over 20 years together.
Scott received over $35billion in Amazon stock after the divorce. In March 2021, Scott married Dan Jewett – a high-school Chemistry teacher.
Scott is known for her philanthropic activites, having given away significant sums of money to charity. Through her foundation, this giving is likely to continue.
What does the email say?
There are variations of the email – with many different ones being circulated. Below you can see an example email. While some words will change from variant-to-variant, the message is largely the same.
As you see, the email runs on the idea that Scott and her husband Jewett are set to continue their charitable giving in 2021 – in fact, over $10billion worth apparently.
The email claims that the recipient has been selected to receive some of this money. No reason is given as to why people have been chosen – suggesting it is an email being released en-masse.
The email then goes on to state that the foundation would “be happy to work hand in hand with you and your team to help make the planet safe and enrich other people’s lifes”.
The latter sentence features a spelling error – “lifes” is used instead of “lives”. Such a grammatical error is common in scam attempt – with the scammers typically having sub-standarrd English skills.
The email also features a link to a legitimate ABC article that talks about Scott’s recent charitable giving, in an attempt to add authenticity to the scam.
The email asks the recipient to reply to the email with their full name, address, phone number and email. Such details have significant worth to hackers and cyber criminals.
Worryingly, these details can be sold on, typically on the dark web. This can lead to fraudulent actions and potentially even identity theft.
What should I do if I receive this scam email?
To put it simply, you should not engage with this email. Most importantly, don’t reply to the email with the requested information.
You can do your bit for the world by reporting the email as phishing or spam – something that all major email clients provide as an option.
Then you should delete the email – and forget about it. It is a bullet that has been dodged, and your personal details live to fight another day.
Email scams are nothing new, but they continue to catch people out. At a time where the Bezos-Scott divorce has been hitting headlines, it is easy to think that this scam is true.
But of course, it isn’t true. We must stay alert at all times when using email, with one wrong step potentially leading to disastrous consequences.