Scammers pose as Central Coast lottery winner to defraud victims

A warning about fraudulent messages and social media posts.

Scammers are utilizing a Central Coast Powerball winner’s title and his interview with KSBY in pretend giveaway schemes to dupe victims out of cash.

Tami Paris is considered one of many individuals who’ve reached out to KSBY after receiving a suspicious e-mail saying partially, “You could have a donation of $3,500,000 from Scott Godfrey who had gained the $699.8 million Powerball lottery.”

If this sounds acquainted, you’ve got seemingly been focused by scammers posing as Scott Godfrey.

“I assumed it is too good to be true,” says Paris.

It’s too good to be true.

Paris was scrolling on Fb when she noticed a submit asking folks to remark if and why they want monetary help.

The scammer was posing as somebody working for Scott Godfrey, the person who purchased the profitable Powerball ticket for the drawing price practically $700 million in Morro Bay.

I spoke completely with Godfrey final yr. He instructed me he was going to make use of his winnings to assist these in want. Since then, crooks have used his title and good intentions to rip-off susceptible victims.

“We’re all simply (making an attempt to) wrestle. We do not want anyone ripping us off, stealing our cash,” says Paris.

In between jobs and needing cash to repair her residence, Paris responded to the Fb submit. In got here the emails with a hyperlink to an internet site mentioning our story about Godfrey, so she reached out to us.

“I investigated this and if I might’ve fallen for it, I might’ve been out some more cash that I actually cannot afford to lose proper now.”

This month alone, KSBY has obtained a number of calls and emails from folks throughout the U.S. asking about this rip-off.

Carolyn Becker, a spokesperson for the California Lottery, says, “It truly does not shock me that you just’re seeing extra this month than perhaps if you first reported our massive win as a result of it is tax season.”

Tax season is a ripe time for fraudulent actions.

Apart from messages we have obtained, a take a look at the Higher Enterprise Bureau’s Rip-off Tracker exhibits two extra studies a couple of comparable rip-off utilizing Godfrey’s title and asking for private info.

Becker warns, “By no means, ever give out your bank card info, your Social Safety quantity, your checking account numbers. All of that’s private, delicate info that we must always all be defending.”

The California Lottery says to be suspicious of “pressing” solicitations that counsel it’s worthwhile to act instantly.

“For those who suppose you’re being scammed or being focused by a possible scammer, there are steps you’ll be able to take together with calling your native authorities but in addition calling us on the lottery,” says Becker.

The Lottery has a customer support cellphone line, 1-800-LOTTERY, for folks to name in the event that they see fraudulent exercise and/or want help with a declare.

It’s also possible to file a report with the Federal Commerce Fee.

As for Tami Paris, she has a message to crooks who’re making the most of susceptible victims like her.

“I hope you get caught. I hope you get fined. And I hope you perform a little little bit of time for it.”

Scott Godfrey instructed KSBY, he has given cash away to assist establishments that serve homeless and starvation wants and by no means to people.

MORE RESOURCES FROM THE FTC:

  • Methods to keep away from a rip-off: Recognizing these widespread indicators of a rip-off might make it easier to keep away from falling for one.
  • What to do if you happen to have been scammed: Discover out what to do if you happen to paid somebody you suppose is a scammer, gave them some private info, or if they’ve entry to your cellphone or laptop.


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