Scammers Posing As Kresge Foundation Reps

Bogus messages purporting to be from The Kresge Foundation and asking for personal information have been circulating via email and social media.

The Troy, Mich.-based foundation issued a warning yesterday that people have been posing online, in emails and social media, as “representatives” of The Kresge Foundation. Individuals are using the foundation’s name “without authorization and have contacted people to suggest that funds may be forthcoming if personal identification and financial information is provided,” foundation officials said via the announcement. “These messages are fraudulent. This is an Internet scam and an illegal misrepresentation of the foundation and the grantmaking work we do.”

The Ford Foundation in New York City issued a similar warning in April.

The Kresge Foundation said that its employees do not:

  • Sponsor lotteries;
  • Solicit donations;
  • Ask for personal information;
  • Approach individuals offering grant opportunities or scholarships;
  • Require or request grantees to pay insurance, deposits, or delivery and administrative fees for grants;
  • Request funds through email, text, phone or social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instant Messenger;
  • Offer investment opportunities; or,
  • Request conference fees or fees to apply for jobs.

Anyone who receives any form of communication that appears to be from the Kresge Foundation for any type of payment or personal and/or financial information, or communication that appears to be from the foundation is urged to disregard it. Foundation officials asked that any fraudulent communications be reported to media@kresge.org

Scams and fraudulent communications also can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via www.ftcomplaintsassistant.gov or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) via www.ic3.gov/complaint

Founded in 1924 with an initial gift of $1.6 million from retail pioneer Sebastian S. Kresge, the foundation has a $3.8-billion endowment and awarded more than $144 million this year with another $230 million in active social investments. It works to “expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit.”