Florida woman reportedly loses big bucks after alleged lottery scammer promises her $90K
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A woman from Florida says she lost $11,000 to a scam that claimed an Arizona-based lottery winner had randomly selected her for a cash giveaway.
Diana Izurieta, the reported victim of the alleged scam, said she received a text message from someone who identified themselves as "Mr. Woodman" and claimed to be a payment facilitator, according to 12 News, a local Arizona news outlet owned by TEGNA, a publicly traded media company.
Mr. Woodman’s alleged text to Izurieta said an anonymous "Gilbert Arizona" couple won a $473 million Powerball Lottery Jackpot in 2022 and the couple was "donating $90,000.00" to "50 random individuals," according to a screenshot which was apparently provided to 12 News.
Izurieta told 12 News that when she contacted Mr. Woodman to claim what she suspected was her prize, the person on the other end asked for "credit card numbers and everything" to cover transfer fees, taxes and IRS charges.
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The scammer reportedly "took out maybe $1,000" and asked Izurieta for more money over a course of five months.
Izurieta told 12 News that the scammer claimed there would be reimbursement for the money she put in.
Fox News Digital reached out to Izurieta for comment.
The Arizona Lottery – a state-run lottery association – confirmed in an email to Fox News Digital that it’s aware of the alleged scam.
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On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the lottery board issued a press release acknowledging there was a Powerball Jackpot winner who won $473 million in April, but the winner isn’t a part of the alleged giveaway scam.
"We’ve seen similar scams in the past, where the scammer claims to want to give strangers money to donate to worthy causes," the Arizona Lottery wrote. "This time the scammer just claims to want to give the victim money, if the victim will pay them money first. The text even includes a link to a genuine news story about this lucky winner to give it credibility."
The Arizona Lottery warned lottery players and the public that lottery representatives wouldn’t reach out to ask for personal information. Representatives are also unaware as to who purchased a winning ticket until that prize is claimed, the Arizona Lottery noted.
In addition, the lottery board advised against clicking links or responding to suspicious text messages because it puts a person at risk for an information leak.
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"Responding lets the scammers know that your contact information is good and they will only try harder to steal your information and your money," the Arizona Lottery wrote. "The scammers will try to trick you into sending them money or personal information by claiming that they want to share their lottery prize with you. They often target older people and have been known to wipe out victims’ retirement savings."