RALEIGH, NC (News Release) — The NC Education Lottery is issuing a scam warning to alert the public about fake email and social media from scammers claiming to be North Carolina’s Powerball jackpot winner.
In an email scam, the scammer poses as the jackpot winner and offers to make a $4 million donation to an organization. The scammer then asked for $500 as a minimum deposit in the banking account that would provide the donation to the group. Scammers on social media are posing as the jackpot winner, using photos of the winner. They then say they are going to give away money to social media followers. “Gonna be blessing lucky people with $5,000,” said one impersonator. Another said: “I’m giving away $100,000 to my first 2k followers $$.”
“Unfortunately, scams like these are all too common,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Anyone who makes a promise of a donation or prize but wants you to give money first is trying to trick you. Never give your money or personal information to these people.”
Michalko said there’s been other cases in other states when scammers use the name of big lottery winner to try and take advantage of people.
Protect yourself from these scams with the following tips:
- Not responding to a letter, email, phone call or social media post asking you to send money to get a donation or prize. No legitimate donor or lottery will ever send you this type of communication.
- Never giving your credit card, Social Security number, driver’s license, passport or bank account numbers over the phone to someone promising you a donation or lottery prize.
As of Thursday, the lottery has spotted 36 cases of social media impersonators of the jackpot winner. In each case, the lottery reports the fake site to the social media platform. The lottery also will report the email scam to the Consumer Protection Section of the N.C. Department of Justice.
Consumers who believe they have been the victim of a scam or an attempted scam can get assistance from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section by calling 1-877-5-NOSCAM or by filing a consumer complaint online at https://www.ncdoj.gov/complaint The Education Lottery keeps information about lottery scams in a section of its website at https://www.nclottery.com/CorporateSocialResponsibility_Security. If you are approached by someone trying to scam you, please report the attempted fraud to local law enforcement.