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The Spam Report: Day #70: $1.2 Million Donation

By Adam Schrager,
Published On: Jan 16 2014 11:32:40 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 02:21:23 PM CST
Canadian flag

iStock / mtrommer


We're putting out a bonus, viewer-submitted email today since I used the Canadian flag yesterday and Glenn from Fitchburg's email relates to Canada. That's what we call a segue in my business.

This is a fairly common scheme: take a true story and distort it slightly to scam recipients out of a fair amount of money.

Here's the truth. Tom Crist is a former electrical products CEO. He won $40 million in the Canadian lottery back in May. He does plan to give all of the money away to charity. His wife did die from cancer a couple years ago and his first donation was to a cancer centre in western Canada.

All that can be verified with a quick check on this article from CNN:

Here's where the email goes off the rails though. Mr. Crist plans to donate to charities that he and his children select. Glen in Fitchburg does not represent a charity. Plus, the Crist family has been alerted that scammers are using emails like this and at least one Facebook page trying to prey on naive people who want free money.

That can be verified here:

"Oh, Canada" is a wonderful anthem that I'm sure we'll hear a lot of with the Winter Olympics starting next month. I'd simply prefer not to say that when I get an email indicating I'm going to be give $1.2 million from someone I've never met in exchange for my personal information.

Thanks for sharing, Glenn.

If you have an email you want to warn others about, feel free to send it to me: and then, just hit delete.

Take care,


-----Original Message-----

From: Tom Crist -Lotto Winner []

Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 6:11 AM

To: You

Subject: Your EMAIL Was Submitted To Me By Google To Receive $1.2 Million Donation From Me

Congratulations! I am Tom Crist, the Canadian CEO who won $40 million in the Calgary Canada Lotto, & i am writing to inform you that Google in alliance with Microsoft submitted your "Email" upon my request to receive a Cheque/Check for $1.2 million from me, after I decided to donate my entire winnings in honour of my late wife, Jan, she died of cancer two years ago. I have already donated $1.2 million to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, which collects donations for Calgary's Tom Baker Cancer Centre, where Jan was treated before her death.

Send me your *Full-Names, *Age:, *Tel:, & *Country, and a valid Cheque will be issued to you.....See links below for more proof/details;



Mr. Tom Crist

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