Social Media Lottery Scams
What would YOU do if you saw a lottery winner on Twitter offering you money - or got an email saying you've won and asking for your Facebook password? If you're like many of us, you'd be tempted! Winning a lottery jackpot gives you life-changing money. Unfortunately, it also opens a window to ruthless scammers - and social media is one of their favorite hunting grounds.
Sadly, the dream of easy money, especially after a big jackpot has been in the news, can make us gullible enough to believe these cons.
Fake Winner Social Media Accounts
When Massachusetts hospital worker Mavis Wanczyk won a massive $758.7 million Powerball jackpot, scammers were quick to impersonate her online.
Accounts using her name sprung up on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These type of scam accounts say that users who take actions like following and answering private messages will get a financial reward.
The Facebook Powerball Scam
Another scam involving social media attempts to get you to give out your personal information including Facebook and email logins. It started a few years ago on Facebook, where a man calling himself Nolan Daniels posted a picture of himself with a winning lottery ticket for $587.5 million. Unfortunately, this scam was shared by millions of Facebook users hoping to get lucky.
The scam has two common variations.
In the first one, victims get a text or email that appears to be from a charity helping the handicapped. They will tell you that you've been randomly selected as the winner of a $50,000 Powerball prize, and all you need to do to claim your money is to give them your Facebook and email logins - including passwords!
In the second variation, you'll will receive a text from someone who claims to have already won the Powerball draw and is donating part of the winnings. He will ask for your personal information in order to release the funds.
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim
Police warn people to avoid giving out personal information such as passwords. To help others, don't share a fake post online, and report scams to social media platforms and police.