Email Donation Scam
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SCAM – ‘Bob Erb Email Donation Project’

by Brett M. Christensen


Email purporting to be from philanthropist and lottery winner Bob Erb’s ‘publicity secretary’ claims that, via the random selection of your email address, you have been chosen as the recipient of $850,000 as part of a ‘Christmas Donation Project’.

Brief Analysis

Bob Erb really did win a large lottery prize and has indeed given away millions of dollars to charities as well as family, friends and even strangers. However, he did not send this email. The email is a scam designed to trick you into sending money and personal information to cybercriminals.


Subject: A Financial Support Donation From Terrace Philanthropist

Hello Dear,

I am Mrs Anne K. Giversen, publicity secretary to Mr. Bob Erb, a renowned philanthropist and winner of $25million jackpot in the Terrace B.C, Lotto Max lottery.  I am writing to briefly inform you that your email addresses have been randomly selected by a Google-powered newsletter software operated by legally registered Canadian freelance tech experts upon Bob Erb’s supervision to receive financial support cheque for $850,000.00 in the ongoing Bob Erb Christmas Donation Project.

I understand that you might feel deeply skeptical about the genuineness of this email, considering the fact that this seems quite unbelievable, or as many will say “too good to be true”, However, you can find more information and proof in regards to Bob Erb’s charitable donations on his interview video below;

Bob Erb spent the past six decades quietly donating to everyone, from homeless strangers to school-children needing winter coats, but that was before he luckily won a $25million lottery prize. He has written more than 150 cheques, made about $8million in charitable donations to individuals and strangers.

Kindly submit Name, Address, Tel/Phone to for immediate release of your christmas donation cheque for $850,000.00 dollars.

©2014 Bob Erb Email Donation Project.

Detailed Analysis

Email Claims You Are to Receive $850,000 From Lottery Winner Bob Erb

According to this email, you have been chosen as the recipient of $850,000 as part of Bob Erb’s ‘Christmas Donation Project’.

Supposedly, philanthropist and lottery winner Bob Erb has set up a system in which ‘financial support cheques’ are distributed to some Internet users via the random selection of their email addresses. And, claims the message, ‘Google-powered newsletter software’ chose your email address and you are therefore among those selected to receive the windfall.

The email instructs you to send your details to a specified email address to arrange the ‘immediate release of your christmas donation cheque’.

Email is Not From Bob Erb – Advance Fee Scam

Bob Erb is a real person and he did win a large prize in a Canadian lottery. And, in fact, he is a very generous man who has given away millions of dollars to charities, his friends and family, and even needy strangers.

However, this email is not from Bob Erb or anyone associated with him. It is an advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to online criminals.
If you email to claim your prize as instructed in the message, you would soon receive a request for upfront fees that are supposedly required to allow the claim to be processed. The scammers, still posing as Bob Erb or his staff, will claim that the money is needed for expenses such as tax, insurance, or banking fees. And, the scammers will explain, these fees cannot be deducted from the donation itself for legal reasons. They will warn that, if all of the requested fees are not paid in advance, the money will be donated to somebody else instead.

Of course, the criminals will pocket any money you send and you will never receive the promised cheque.

Furthermore, during the course of the scam, you may be tricked into providing a large amount of your personal and financial information, ostensibly to allow your claim to be verified and documented. The scammers may be able to use this information to steal your identity.

Scammers Regularly Use the Names of Lottery Winners

The tactic described here is a favourite among advance fee scammers. They often send out bogus emails pretending to be from lottery winners that have been profiled in the media. As in this example, they claim you have been chosen to receive a large donation from the specified lottery winner. And, again, if you respond, you will be asked to send money and personal information to claim your ‘donation’.

Lottery scams like this have been around for decades and even predate email and the Internet. But, alas, despite a great deal of publicity, people still fall for such scams everyday.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,