The British Columbia Lottery Corporation and CTV News warn people that there is a new scammer trying to use a Lotto Max winner’s identity to trick people online and defraud them. Someone is pretending to be a recent B.C. Lotto Max winner Christine Lauzon and offering free money to desperate people from all around the world in a scheme to defraud them.
Ms. Lauzon from Burnaby, British Columbia won a Lotto Max jackpot worth CA$70,000,000 last October. Back then when she acquired her cheque, she told the BCLC, that she plans on sharing the huge windfall with her family, and speaking with a financial advisor on what to do next. Now, the imposter is using a picture of her with the prize and her name to trick people in need.
Beware of Fake Facebook Accounts
CTV News informed that they have contacted the BCLC about the matter. The Crown corporation has then managed to get in touch with Ms. Lauzon and now confirms that she is not responsible for the fake Facebook profile. The imposter uses the profile to supposedly help people out by offering them money to resolve the issues at hand.
The fraudster has even set up several fake accounts who have made posts about thanking the fake Ms. Lauzon for her financial help of CA$10,000 with no strings attached. One of the fake accounts explains how Ms. Lauzon has helped them pay the mortgage of the house and others claim that she helped them to recover their business undertakings.
Also, CTV News has managed to contact two of the victims of the scam. One of them which preferred to remain anonymous explained that she messaged the Facebook account in search of help, to which the imposter is willing to help but only through Bitcoin, and promised to send the victim CA$100,000. Thankfully, the woman did not lose any money from the scam.
She even provided screenshots of her conversation with the fraudster, in which the fake Lotto Max winner pressured her into creating a Bitcoin wallet, and was told to deposit CA$300 first, in order to receive the promised financial help. Luckily, she was not able to make the deposit as CTV News contacted her and intervened.
More Similar Attempts
As already mentioned, this has not been the first time that criminals have tried to use lottery or gambling as a way of scamming people. In October 2021, Ontario authorities informed of a text message scam which was sent out to Mississauga and Brampton residents. In the text, people were addressed by name and offered a welcome bonus of CA$1,000 if they signed up for an account at the provided link.
Albertans have also fallen victims to such cases of online scams. A while ago, locals received calls from individuals pretending to be STARS Lottery officials and congratulating them on winning a lottery prize. However, in order for them to get their hands on the alleged windfall, they were required to deposit some cash first.
Source: Weichel, Andrew “Fraudster posing as $70M lottery winner, promising free money on Facebook”, CTV News, January 14, 2022