Police Warn of Scammers Posing as Powerball Lottery Winner on Fake Social Media Accounts

Posted on: August 31, 2017, 06:00h. 

Last updated on: August 31, 2017, 06:58h.

Social media users in Chicopee, Massachusetts have been warned to be on the lookout for scammers masquerading as Powerball Lottery winner Mavis Wanczyk, the Chicopee resident who last week won $758.7 million, the biggest single-win jackpot in lottery history.

Powerball winner Mavis Wanczyk
Mavis Wanczyk, the world’s richest lottery winner, has apparently become an inspiration for social media scammers. Meanwhile, bizarrely, former Barcelona soccer star Xavi has won the lottery in Qatar, like he needs the money! (Image: Josh Reynolds/Associated Press)

Such is the publicity surrounding Chicopee’s newest multi-millionaire that dozens of fake Twitter and Facebook accounts had been created in variations of Wanczyk’s name, according to Michael Wilk, public information officer for the Chicopee Police Department.

These are invariably phishing accounts, attempting to obtain personal information with the false promise of free money.

“We are well aware of many fake accounts being created on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram stating they are Mavis Wanczyk and that following and answering private messages will result in you getting money,” Wilk posted on the Police Department Facebook page.

“Please, do not fall for a scam. Don’t fall for the ‘like and share and I’ll give you cash’ post. (These) are bait accounts. You will be lured in, and then when told you have ‘won’ you will have to give up your personal info., bank info, etc, and you will end up losing money, not gaining,” he added.

Police Increase Security for Wanczyk

More than 30 accounts with names like “maviswanczyk7m and “maviswanczyk.758mil” have appeared, some with a comment underneath saying “Giving Away Money.” Some of the scam accounts are targeting college students by offering to help pay for books and tuition, Wilk said.

This week, police have ramped up security around Wanczyk’s home, following reports of strangers wandering around the neighbourhood, knocking on doors and asking where she lives.

“I’m scared, but I’ll be OK,’ Wanczyk recently told local media. “I just want to be me and just be alone and figure out what I want to do. I couldn’t drive anywhere, I couldn’t do anything.”

Xavi Wins Lottery in Qatar

Meanwhile, in other, very surprising lottery news, former Barcelona soccer playmaker Xavi has reportedly hit the jackpot in Qatar.

Having won the World Cup, the Euros and the Champions League during his storied playing career, he has now added the Qatari lottery to his list of memorable triumphs. Xavi, real name Xavier Hernández Creus, won one million Qatar riyals ($267,000) in the country’s annual lottery this week.

These days, the 37-year-old, considered by some to be the greatest Spanish soccer player of all time, is seeing out his “retirement” playing for Al-Sadd SC in the oil-rich emirate, where he earns a reported $12 million per year.

Just beware of Spanish soccer legends offering free money on social media. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.