I have been writing about scams related to Mavis Wanczyk for five years..  Many of you may not remember the name of Mavis Wanczyk, but she was the lucky winner of a 758 million dollar Powerball drawing in 2017. Not long after she claimed her prize, a scam started appearing in which many people received emails with the message line referring to the Mavis  Wanczyk Cash Grant. The email indicated that you were chosen to receive a large cash grant from Mavis  Wanczyk. All the lucky strangers receiving the emails had to do was provide personal information in order to qualify for the grant.  Since that time  there have been a multitude of various new incarnations scams that share the same hook which is that Mavis Wanczyk is giving money away to lucky people.  People responding to the scam soon learn that there are a number of costs that you need to pay in order to receive the gift that never comes or they are required to provide personal information such as their Social Security number which leads to their becoming a victim of identity theft.

But move over Mavis, here come Tammy and Cliff Webster who won 316 million dollars in a Powerball drawing earlier this year.  Scammers posing as the Websters are sending emails to people informing them that the Websters are giving away millions and that the people receiving the email out of the blue are going to be the lucky recipients of millions.  As in the Mavis Wanczyk scams, if you respond to the email in which you are told of your good fortune you will either end up paying fees for a gift you never receive or you provide personal information that is used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Either way you lose.


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.

Also never pay anything to a lottery claiming you owe fees in order to claim your prize.  This is a telltale sign of a scam.  No legitimate lottery requires the payment of a fee to collect your winnings or requires you to pay the lottery income taxes on the prize.  While income taxes are due on lottery winnings, those taxes are either deducted by the lottery sponsor before giving you your prize or the prize is given to you in full and you are responsible for the payment of any taxes.  No lottery collects taxes on behalf of the IRS.

Finally, neither Mavis Wanczyk, the Websters nor any other lottery winner is giving away money to strangers

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and insert your email address where it indicates “Sign up for this blog.”