I have been writing about scams related to Mavis Wanczyk for six 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. In addition, 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 informing them that in order to qualify for the grant they merely needed to provide personal information.
Recently I received a text message that read as follows:
“On June 8, 2022, a profound transformation occurred in my life when I became one of the fortunate recipients of a substantial prize from the California Megamillions. Upon discovering my win, a flood of emotions overwhelmed me, with gratitude being the predominant feeling. As part of my commitment to giving back, my team and I have chosen you along with three other lucky individuals to each receive a one-million dollar grant. This selection process was carried out impartially through a computerized ballot system and your phone number was randomly selected from an exclusive list of cell phone numbers sourced from the US TELCO data base. To facilitate this process, I kindly request that you provide the following information: your full name, job title and physical address. Please forward this information to DiazReusEsq@gmail.com as Mr. Diaz will be overseeing the entire process. Sincerely, Kristine”
It should be noted that on June 8, 2022 the real Kristine Wellenstein won 426 million dollars in the California Megamillions drawing. It also should be noted that there is a law firm based in Miami named Diaz, Reus and Targ. One of the lawyers is Michael Diaz, but he has nothing to do with this scam.
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 emails or text messages 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.
Also, neither Mavis Wanczyk, nor Kristine Wellenstein nor any other lottery winner is giving away money to strangers.
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