Mavis, from Chicopee in Massachusetts, landed the largest single-ticket prize in lottery history when she matched all the winning numbers in last Wednesday’s big draw. She came forward the next day to reveal that she would be taking the cash option, valued at $480.5 million before taxes, and said she would use the money to ‘sit back and relax’.
However, various fake accounts have quickly sprung up as fraudsters try to con people out of money. One Instagram account claims to be giving away $25,000 to a different person every week, a Facebook page using Mavis’ name and picture has about 3,500 likes and several fake Twitter accounts are offering money.
The purpose of these accounts is to try and obtain personal or financial information, and people have been told to stay on their guard and not reply. Anyone contacted by a scammer should also report the approach to police.
“We are well aware of many fake accounts being created on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram stating they are Mavis Wanczyk and that following and answering private messages will result in you getting money,” said police from Mavis’ town of Chicopee. “PLEASE do not fall for these scams.”
Posing as a big lottery winner is a popular tactic for scammers, and people should remember to stay vigilant if they receive any unusual correspondence. The best thing is to avoid all contact with the dubious account, whilst reporting anything suspicious to the relevant authorities.
Find out more about lottery scams, how they work and how they make money, at the dedicated page.