With so much attention being focused on tonight’s estimated 440 million dollar Powerball drawing, it was no surprise to find many people receiving an email with the message line referring to the Mavis L. Wanczyk Cash Grant and a short message indicating that you were chosen to receive a large cash grant from Mavis L. Wanczyk along with an email to use to make your claim. You may remember that Mavis Wanczyk was the winner last summer of a 758 million dollar Powerball drawing. At the time she claimed her prize, just like now, emails were sent to people purportedly from Ms. Wanczyk telling strangers that they were chosen to receive a cash grant. All the lucky strangers had to do was provide personal information in order to qualify for the grant. Phony social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were also set up in Ms. Wanczyk’s name through which people were contacted with the same phony offer of free money and all that needed to be done to qualify for the grant was to provide personal information.
Of course, the new email being circulated and all of the previous emails and social media messages were scams. No one is offering you money for nothing (nor for you Dire Straits fans, “chicks for free”). Providing personal information such as your Social Security number or bank account information in order to direct the wiring of funds merely results in your becoming a victim of identity theft and/or your bank account being looted.
It is difficult to win a lottery you have entered. It is impossible to win one that you have never entered and neither lottery winners, nor anyone else is sending out messages through the Internet offering free money to anyone who responds with personal information. Never give out personal information that can make you vulnerable to identity theft unless you have absolutely verified that the party requesting the personal information is legitimate and has a legitimate need for the information.