The Godin Family Foundation takes fraud very seriously. From time to time, fraudsters may impersonate the foundation or members of the Godin family as part of scamming activities. Perpetrators may seek to capitalize on the recognition of the foundation and the family’s name with the promise of donating large sums of money or luxury items in the hopes of coercing individuals to provide their personal information.
Please note that if someone claiming to be with the Foundation or the Godin family contacts you and asks you to send money or your personal information in exchange for a large donation or other luxury gift, it is a scam. Read on for more information on how to protect yourself.
There are many different examples of fraud, and they often involve some form of phishing. Modern scams are sophisticated and may use actual law firm names, real photos, official looking documents, and links to fake social media sites to persuade their victims that they are legitimate offers. Fraudsters may also appear to know a great deal of information about those they impersonate, and this may make their illicit activities even more convincing.
One example of a pervasive campaign is a beneficiary scam. Victims are presented with an offer of significant monetary value donated from the Godin Family Foundation or one of its family members in exchange for either personal information (e.g. bank account, social insurance number, etc.) or a fee of some sort. The scam may look real, but as with most scams, there are some telltale signs that it is not legitimate:
- The senders’ address is a variation of the actual legitimate address, but often has a public domain name (for example firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.). Official Foundation correspondence always uses “@fondationfamillegodin.com” when communicating.
- An offer or some other incentive is provided, often of substantial value. These are typically in the millions of dollars. Scammers use these large numbers to capture their victims’ interest.
- Legitimate looking banking information or other false documents may be used. Frequently an account number may be cited such as Account Number: 118299-4293 transit 0014 or falsely notarized court documents may be included.
- Attorneys, accounting or other professional organizations are used to lend credibility to the scam. The firms’ names may be legitimate, but are often operating in foreign lands and are part of the scam.
- Insistence on urgency is typically found in the scam in the hopes that people will think they must “act fast” or miss out.
Scams exist to coerce unsuspecting victims out of money or their personal information, and are becoming more and more advanced all the time. The Godin Family Foundation has taken several actions to help battle fraud involving the use of its brand or its family names. We encourage anyone who may feel that they have been targeted by fraud to report it to local authorities.