CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: Oshkosh woman loses money to scammers pretending to be Powerball winners
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Consumer First Alert continues to follow a lottery scam using the names of local Powerball winners.
The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau says they have receive a report of someone losing hundreds of dollars.
It’s a deceptive scam that uses the names of Powerball winners Tammy and Cliff Webster. The scam tricks people into believing the Websters are giving away thousands of dollars. Consumer First Alert has now learned an Oshkosh woman lost hundreds to the scam.
The Websters won the $316 million Powerball jackpot in January. The state of Wisconsin requires jackpot winners to be publicly identified. The Websters shared their story in a video posted by the Wisconsin Lottery.
In March, Consumer First Alert was first to warn you about scammers using the Webster name to bait people into a scam.
“To add credibility they’ll include links and news stories just to make them seem more credible,” says Susan Bach, Better Business Bureau.
This week, the Wisconsin BBB received a report from an Oshkosh woman who lost hundreds of dollars to scammers pretending to be the Websters.
“She was receiving text messages from ‘Tammy and Cliff Webster’ and they wanted to share their lottery winnings with her. She paid them $360 to do this, to claim this money, and it was a scam,” says Bach.
The victim says scammers used a photo of the Websters. The scammers convinced the victim to download cryptocurrency apps and exchange cash to crypto. They promised she would get $32,000.
That promise was not real. The victim sent a message: “You just stole my money.”
The scammers replied: “You are so ungrateful.”
“It always starts with kind of a random text or email stating that your phone number has been randomly chosen and they are feeling generous and want to share their winnings with ten people, or something like that,” says Bach. “They’ll either ask you for personal information like your driver’s license number or social security number or they’ll ask you for money to claim those winnings. In either case, it’s a scam and people become vulnerable then to identity theft or you’ll lose money.
The woman reported the scam to the Better Business Bureau.
“It’s very difficult to get her money back. I’m sure they were asking for payments that are irreversible where they can remain anonymous, but if you are a victim of this scam it’s very important to report the fake Facebook profile or any other social media outlet to authorities. Also to report it to the BBB Scam Tracker website so we can help warn other people,” Bach says.
The Wisconsin Department of Consumer Protection has also noted an uptick in this scam. Their hotline has received a number of calls and emails about fraudulent emails and texts claiming to be from the Websters. These messages tell the intended victim they’ve been awarded a cash prize and to contact an agent to get those winnings.
Experts urge people to not make contact with any of these scammers and to not give out sensitive information or money.
“It’s really sad, so it’s really important to warn the public about it,” Bach says.
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