Scholarship Fraud

"There ain't no free lunch!"
 The abbreviated version of a quote from John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Let's put this simply: no Masonic organization that I have ever heard of - EVER - offers free money for scholarships, "foundation laying grants", or whatever (and, most especially, it doesn't offer by e-mail a MEMBERSHIP!) by pulling e-mail addresses out of a hat.

Everyone by now should be aware of e-mail scamming and the use of Freemasonry's name and reputation seems SO very attractive to thieves that this is liable to occur. Be smart! If you think someone is giving away money if only you'll provide your name, address, age, sex, and bank account information, you really are naive - and you really should take more care.

An example of a scam


2010 foundation laying grants

Saturday, July 31, 2010 4:52 PM


To: undisclosed-recipients

Dear Beneficiary,

The Freemason society under the jurisdiction of the all Seeing Eye, Master Nicholas
Brenner has selected you to be a beneficiary of our 2010 foundation laying grants and
also an optional opening at the round table of the Freemason society after series of
secret deliberations.

These grants are issued every year around the world in accordance with the objective of
the Freemasons as stated by Thomas Paine in 1808 which is to ensure the continuous
freedom of man and to enhance mans living conditions.

We will also advice that these funds which amount to USD1.1million be used to better the
lot of man through your own initiative and also we will go further to inform that the
open slot to become a Freemason is optional, you can decline the offer.

Marital status:

Send your details to Mr. Macolm Spears
Phone: +60146264807

Mrs. Jennifer Anderson
Grand Lodge Office Co-Secretary's.

Why is this a scam?

Oh, lots of reasons.... Here are ten right off the top. There are lots more!

  1. Do you HONESTLY think that the Masons can pull names out of a hat and give them a MILLION DOLLARS?

  2. There's no such thing (person, place, group, or website) as "". The domain name is unused. So they've got an e-mail address at an domain that doesn't exist. How curious....

  3. There's no such entity as "The Freemason society". We have lodges and grand lodges - and the bodies associated with Freemasonry, while having their own names which might sound strange to the non-Masonic ear, do, nevertheless, have addresses! Real, honest-to-gosh addresses which they're not afraid to share.

  4. If somebody's giving away a million dollars, wouldn't they know you already?

  5. Are you really so well-known for your charity involvement that someone would be ready to hand you a million dollars? REALLY? Think about it....

  6. Thomas Paine was not a Mason. He wrote a treatise about Freemasonry but he himself was an atheist and ineligible for membership. (See here.)

  7. Freemasonry doesn't offer membership through an "open slot" system. It's just so ludicrous. Please read our section here on how one becomes a member;

  8. Do organizations with enough spare cash to toss a million dollars at somebody they don't know ask them to reply to an AOL address? Too cheap to have their own domain? (Wait: we already answered that above, didn't we? <Sigh....>)

  9. Why would an organization with a phone number ostensibly in Malaysia be passing out US Dollars? Isn't that a bit odd - and likely a violation of that country's laws!

  10. What's a "Co-Secretary's"? Bad grammar from someone whose native tongue is not English or, perhaps, is simply grossly uneducated - and hardly a person to be sending out covering letters (e-mails) on behalf of somebody who's passing around million dollar packets;

We could go further but you should get the picture by now. Plainly and simply, this - and all such offers like it - are bogus. Don't be misled through greed or giddy excitement. Hit the delete button on an e-mail like this and move on.

In a nearly duplicate copy posted with a multiple-thousand collection of other scam e-mails here, their copy came from FREEMASON ORG. ( The domain is owned by the Grand Lodge of California and has been for many years. is an Irish broadband provider. What are the odds, do you suppose, that the Grand Lodge of California has millions of dollars to give to people - non-members - by e-mail but in order to collect, you've got to get in contact with someone who uses an internet provider in Ireland?

I know: you think that because you don't know anything about the Masons this might have been true. You were hoping.... But honestly: have you been SO well recognized for your charity efforts that somebody would be throwing money at YOU directly and not your oh-so-well-known charity?

See this page for other e-mail scams involving Freemasonry.

Last updated: 2 August 2010


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