B.C. lottery winner’s name used in email scam
Published Monday, July 22, 2013 10:37PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:30PM PDT
Scammers are using the name of a recent B.C. lottery winner who took home $31.7 million to target unsuspecting victims via email.
Virginia resident Michelle Gantzer told CTV News she was emailed by a man who claimed to represent Harry Black, a 66-year-old Surrey man who won the Lotto 6/49 jackpot in April.
Gantzer was told Black had picked a handful of lucky strangers to share his fortune with.
“I emailed him and he emailed back as Harry Black and just said that I was chosen, along with three other people, to receive $2 million as long as I donated some of the money,” Gantzer said.
“Of course I thought it was a scam, but my curiousity was up so I went along with it.”
Gantzer said she decided to play along until the sender asked for her social security number or a cash deposit. Soon enough, she was asked to provide $450 to open an account so Black could deposit the cash.
The Better Business Bureau said the scam is particularly clever because the email references both a real lottery winner and an actual United Kingdom-based bank.
A similar scam was crafted after news broke in 2010 that Nova Scotia jackpot winners Allen and Victoria Large were giving away their entire $11 million haul.
BBB spokesman Mark Fernandes said advance-fee scammers were still using the couple’s name as recently as March.
“Most people when they hear a very familiar name, someone that’s a past winner, they can reference a website or a past news story and it adds a little more legitimacy to the email scam,” Fernandes said.
Anyone who believes they’re being targeted by scammers is advised to contact the Better Business Bureau and police.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Penny Daflos