An email claiming to be from the “Jeff Green Foundation” announced that 20 recipients will receive $1 million each.
In May 2022, we received inquiries from our readers asking if an email message from the “Jeff Green Foundation” was legitimate. According to the email, a philanthropist named Jeff Green had decided to donate $1 million each to 20 different lucky recipients. However, it had all the signs of a classic email swindle.
The “Jeff Green Foundation” email
According to a screenshot captured by a reader, the email looked like this:
We have transcribed the fraudulent email below:
From: Jeff Green Foundation
Subject: My philanthropy!
Reply to: [email protected]
Greetings to you and your family.
In a thousand years, I never thought I would do something like this.
My name is Jeff Green, below is a link of me and what I do.
When I was 17, I met a homeless man named James in Five Points, Denver, Colorado. I spent hours listening to him, his stories and the twists and turns of choice and fate that led him to a life on the streets. His journey affected me deeply and I dwelt on him a lot over the next few months, unable to get rid of a central question that was taking root in my mind – Why is he here on the streets in the cold December so am I living a more comfortable life?
I think this adage is generally true: Luck is a preparatory dating opportunity. But I also understand that many people experience major life events that get in the way of their preparation, and as a result, opportunities pass them by. I also believe that we all meet people who can propel us forward or hold us back. No one arrives alone at his situation in life, good or bad. I didn’t arrive at this statistically outlandish position alone, and neither did James.
Money doesn’t buy happiness. Money can buy things that make life more enjoyable. But these things and this pleasure are always fleeting. When you think about the problems you face in life, hoarding stuff is rarely the solution.
My philanthropy isn’t about politics or donations – it’s about getting the best results for all potential talent, which can only benefit our nation and humanity. It will help people seize opportunities, not fall asleep.
I will give the vast majority of my wealth through data-driven philanthropy before or when I die. My goal is over 90 percent of my wealth. But I will also volunteer my time, my most valuable asset, to deliberately allocate these funds and personally commit myself.
So I decided that I was going to contact 20 people through their email address that I paid for from a data company.
If you get this email, I’ll give you $1 million.
Come to think of it, I must be crazy to do something like that, but crazy is what made me who I am today, so let’s go!
All you have to do is reply to this email with your full names and you’ll be paid $1 million.
My life’s mission is to deploy capital against humanity’s toughest problems.
Social Media Discussion
A search for Twitter showed that several users were curious if the “Jeff Green Foundation” email was legitimate:
We couldn’t find any similar posts available on Facebookbut it is likely that some users were discussing the email in private messages visible only to friends.
The story in the email
Some of the paragraphs from the “Jeff Green Foundation” email scam were copied and pasted from the text of an authentic letter written by a true philanthropist named Jeff T. Green. In November 2021, Green made a serious commitment to trying to give “over 90%” of his Billions in wealth.
However, there is no indication that Green or his foundation had anything to do with the email scam.
We quickly noticed several issues with the “Jeff Green Foundation” message. Before the email entered the “when I was 17” story of the genuine letter, several words were either capitalized or not capitalized, which should have been the other way around. For example, a use of the word “I” was left lowercase as “i” in the same sentence as an oddly placed comma: “My name is Jeff Green, below is a link of me and what I do. Also, the sentence was poorly worded.
The message also asked recipients to reply to [email protected] The idea that a billionaire philanthropist would post an email with such poor grammar and, at the same time, ask people to reply to a fairly generic Hungarian email address, didn’t scream “legit.”
We contacted a company associated with Green to see if they had been alerted to the scam that used his name. We will update this story if we receive a statement.
In short, no, the e-mails from the “Jeff Green Foundation” that promised $1 million each to 20 different people were not a legitimate giveaway.
“Jeff T. Green.” The commitment to givehttps://givingpledge.org/pledger?pledgerId=430.
Battery, Peggy Fletcher. “Utah’s Richest Native Pledges to Give 90% of His Billions.” The Salt Lake GrandstandNovember 16, 2021, https://www.sltrib.com/news/2021/11/16/richest-utah-native-vows/.
Swant, Marty. “Billionaire Jeff T. Green, Founder of The Trade Desk, Joins The Giving Pledge.” ForbesNovember 16, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/martyswant/2021/11/16/the-trade-desk-founder-jeff-green-joins-list-of-billionaires-to-sign-the pledge-give/.
Tavs, Jeff. “The Utahn billionaire is going to give away 90% of his wealth.” KSTUNovember 16, 2021, https://www.fox13now.com/news/local-news/billionaire-utahn-to-give-away-90-of-his-wealth.