There are many lottery scams around nowadays that all have one common aim: to scam people into giving away information that the perpetrator of the scam can use to get something that doesn’t belong to them-usually the victim’s money or identity. Unfortunately, these scams are not likely to go away. In fact, they seem to be on the rise as more people legitimately win the lottery. One infamous scam that spawned from somebody winning a lottery is the Mavis Wanczyk scam. In this article, we will look at what this scam is about and how you can avoid being roped into it accidentally.
What Is the Mavis Wanczyk Lottery Scam?
If you don’t know who Mavis Wanczyk is, she made history for becoming the winner of the largest lottery jackpot in not just America but the whole world that went to a single person (until she was unseated from this title in 2018). She achieved this title by winning a whopping $758 million Powerball jackpot back in August 2017.
Almost immediately after she was announced as a winner, several scams began to circulate using her name. These scams still exist today, and they all have a single aim: to get you, as the person being scammed, to divulge your personal information so that the scammer can make use of it.
How Does It Work?
The Mavis Wanczyk scam works in two possible ways. Both are incredibly simple and tell a believable story to try and fool people into believing that it is not a scam. The two ways in which the scam operates are listed below:
The first, and slightly less popular, way that this scam operates is by sending out bogus emails to unsuspecting recipients. In these emails, targets of the scammer are told the true story of Mavis Wanczyk, including that she was a worker at a local hospital when she won her fortune. However, the email will end with a statement saying that she would like to pass on her good fortune by giving money away to random people-and that you, as the recipient of this email, happen to be one of those fortunate people.
This may all seem believable, especially if you think of a sweet mother-of-two who is just trying to share the blessings life has bestowed upon her, but that is when the actual scam comes in. To pay the money that you have randomly been allocated, the email will ask you to submit your personal details. These details could vary from your social security/identity number to your banking details.
Once you have submitted these details, the scammers have what they need, and you will most likely never hear from them again. They, however, will use the details that you have given them to commit fraud, open credit accounts or hack your bank accounts.
More popular than fake emails is the social media scam. Almost overnight from the time that Mavis was announced as the winner, many social media accounts materialized that all used her name and picture. These social media accounts appeared on Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram. This is also exactly what happened to 20-year-old Mega Millions winner Shane Missler, among many others.
Each of these social media accounts showed Mavis doing a variety of everyday things and sometimes going on an outing (such as to an orphanage). These posts will always include a statement that says that Mavis is feeling giving and will give away a set amount to the first however many people who comment, like or share the post.
If you are one of the people who interact with the post, you will receive a message from the fake account stating that you will receive your payout but that you need to submit selected personal information. As with the email scam, once you have submitted this information, you will rarely hear from the scammers again, and they will use your details to their own benefit.
Tips for Avoiding This Scam
As with most lottery scams, it is usually fairly easy to stay safe if you follow specific tips. Below are some of the best tips that might stop you from becoming a victim of this lottery scam and others:
- Never accept any social media request from any account named Mavis Wanczyk. In fact, it is best practice to go beyond this and not accept any social media requests from anybody that you don’t personally know.
- Report and block any social media invites that you get from an account under the name of Mavis Wanczyk.
- Never, under any circumstances, give out any personal information to any person on social media. No company will ever ask for this information using a social media platform and, therefore, it is most likely a scam if somebody does ask for it.
- Immediately forward emails that you think are a scam to the relevant authority for them to follow it up.
- If you are not sure if an email is a scam, it is best to delete the email and do nothing about it. It is extremely improbable that somebody-no matter how rich they are-is just giving away money to random people.
- Always be alert and vigilant whenever receiving any messages that regard money-especially if they request your personal details to get paid. Nine times out of ten, messages like these are a scam.
Mavis Wanczyk has certainly been one of the luckiest lottery winners on the planet to date. Unfortunately, out of the good of her victory came a number of scams and various seedy people trying to con innocent citizens out of their hard-earned money. However, as long as you remember to never give your details out to anybody you don’t know and to be vigilante when receiving any invites or emails, then you stand a good chance of not falling victim to scammers and their dirty tricks.