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Lottery scam: fraudster masquerading as recent $ 70 million Lotto Max winner on Facebook

Someone has masqueraded as a recent British Columbia Lower Mainland lottery millionaire, promising desperate people around the world free money in an apparent ploy to steal them.

Real lottery winner Christine Lauzon of Burnaby took home a $ 70 million Lotto Max jackpot last October. At the time, she told the BC Lottery Corporation that she planned to share some of her winnings with her family and then speak to a financial advisor before deciding what to do next.

Weeks after his victory, a Facebook account in his name, with a profile photo of Lauzon accepting his award, posted a seemingly generous offer to those in need.

“I voluntarily decided to help people financially, to grow businesses, to help pay medical bills and other depressing issues that deserve attention (sic),” one reads. “Let me know if you have encountered any difficulties / depressing situations that you would like to share with me and ask for help. “

CTV News contacted the BCLC, who were able to reach Lauzon and confirm that they are not behind the Facebook page.

A number of other fake accounts also posted messages thanking Lauzon, providing testimonials on receiving up to $ 10,000 with no strings attached.

“Thanks to Christine. She just paid off the mortgage on my house,” wrote an account. “I’m so devastated since my business got into trouble since COVID, and she just helped me out, without asking for anything for her. God bless her.”

The real people who came across the page had different experiences. CTV News heard from two women who were nearly arrested, including one from Lautoka, Fiji, who was thrilled to have the opportunity to help fix the family home.

“Whenever there is heavy rains, our house gets flooded. The water gets into half of the house and we have to try to get out and go up to church,” she said.

The woman, who requested that her name not be published, messaged Christine Lauzon’s scam page on January 1 and received news a few hours later.

“I was telling her how difficult my situation is, and she told me that she was ready to help, but that she only helped through Bitcoin,” she said.

“I told her I just needed a little help, $ 1,000, but she said she was going to send $ 100,000.”

Fraudulent Facebook account masquerading as BC Lottery winner pledged to give free money to those in need, but only if they first deposited money into a Bitcoin wallet .

The woman was devastated to learn the account was fake, but told CTV News she was grateful she didn’t lose any money.

Screenshots of her conversation with the scammer show that she was forced to open a Bitcoin wallet and said she had to find a way to deposit $ 300 before receiving financial aid. She had not been able to raise the money by the time she was contacted by CTV News.

The names of local lottery winners have been used in a number of previous scams, including one that promised up to $ 1 million in exchange for sensitive personal information from targets.

The BC Lottery Corporation has encouraged anyone who suspects criminal activity, such as fraud involving the identity of a lottery winner, to contact the police.

“BCLC cares about our players and we encourage them to contact us if they have any questions or concerns,” a spokesperson said in an email.