O Tempora, o Mores!
Have you ever heard of Tom Crist? No? That’s surprising considering he just won $42 million in a Canadian Lotto Max and has told media outlets that he plans on donating every cent of his winnings to charity.
Yep, Tom Crist really did win $42 million and wants to donate it to charity. While he is looking to do some good in the world, there are some bad people who are looking to cash in on Tom’s kind gesture.
Cue the Lottery Scam
Whenever there are lottery winners, their names are likely going to be attached to some lottery scam. Tom Crist is the latest “victim” of this scam. The scam begins with an email, much like the one below:
Subject: Charity Donation Funds.
Tom Crist, the Canadian man that won a $40 million Canadian dollar lottery prize is writing to inform you that Google in alliance with Facebook has submitted your Email-Address to receive $1,200,000.00 USD from me, as I have decided to give all my winnings away to charity, individuals and organizations.
For claims, send me your *Full-Names, *Age, *Phone-Number, *Address and
My recent donations are in the link below;
This particular email is an advanced fee scam. It is meant to sucker the recipients into giving “Tom” their personal information and some money. Much like other email scams, the scammer hopes to find people who will believe the story in the email and send in their personal information. When they do, “Tom” (the scammer) will respond back and claim that the victim must pay a small fee in order to get the money released. The scammer will probably say the fees are to cover the taxes to be paid on the winnings, and you will be reimbursed—or something along the lines of covering legal fees, banking fees, and who knows what else.
To make matters worse, the scammer may also say that the money must be paid in full, or the victim will lose all rights to the money. To gullible people, these may sound like legitimate claims and they will probably take the bait.
So, not only does the scammer get away with untold amounts of money, but they also get away with personal information. This personal information can be used for identity theft, thus causing even more problems for the victims.
Email scams like these are becoming more and more of a common problem. It is disheartening when scammers take a good gesture from real lottery winners who want to give back to the community and turn it into a way of causing damage to innocent people.
One way you can protect yourself from falling victim to email scams is to not fall for them. Learn the ways to spot an email lottery scam and familiarize yourself with current scams. Most of all, keep in mind that any lottery will not say you’ve won anything via email—unless you, yourself, have submitted your information for a drawing of some kind.
Don’t fall for these scams. If you come across an email that looks questionable, never respond to the email and just delete it. You may even want to report it to the authorities, even if it is to notify them that there is a scam going on.