Donation Disappointment

It’s not every day that the Mozilla Foundation gets an email like this:

I would like to make a $10,000 contribution to your noble cause. Also put me on your mailing list for updates, newsletters, or anything you think I should know about. Call me at 555-555-5555 with details needed for my check. I also want to introduce you to some corporate friends of mine who can make a much larger donation. Keep up the good work…

Wow, jackpot, right? Then again, this sort of thing is usually too good to be true. So we did a little research. Yes, the guy existed, and his phone number in an online directory matched the one in the email. Yes, he was a bigwig in an large company, and an ex-banker, so he’s probably loaded. Yes, he’d previously made charitable donations to other organisations. It was all looking really promising.

So eventually, we called the number – only to find an answering machine telling us that his account had been hacked, and to ignore any messages sent in his name.


6 thoughts on “Donation Disappointment

  1. How much did the call cost? I guess a call to 555 number is exceptionally charged. Or, I’d be not surprised if it was so, at least.

  2. Er, the real number has been removed. “555” numbers are the ones used in the US when you want to have a real-looking number which isn’t real. Like in movies.

  3. 555 isn’t always used (unfortunately). 867-5309 is the most famous.

    A few years ago, when Jim Carey filmed Bruce Almighty, they didn’t make Gods number a 555 number… as a result, people with that particular number were getting a lot of calls from people trying to phone God. IIRC there was a sappy article about how one of the people with that particular number happened to be a priest (not sure if that was really true, or some reporter who wanted a good article).

  4. Robert Accettura: According to the IMDb, they’ve actually edited that scene on the DVD so it’s 555-0123.

    (Hmm, this really isn’t worth posting four or five days later…)