GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s an old scam, but it’s making a comeback: a former lottery winner sends you a text saying they’d like to share their jackpot with you. While it sounds great, the truth is, you’re not that lucky.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says the number of reports it has had about one particular winner, Manuel Franco, has doubled in the last year. While Franco did win the lottery in 2019, scammers are using his win as a way to steal your personal information.
“All you have to do is click on a link, share some personal information, or pay some money upfront, it’s absolutely a scam,” said Susan Bach with the Better Business Bureau.
If you get one of these to your phone, Bach suggests you just delete it. In fact, replying is one of the worst things you can do.
“You’re going to get more of these scams because you’ve told the scammer they’ve reached a real number and that they’ve reached someone that’s willing to correspond with them,” added Bach.
Wisconsin Lottery said it’s not just limited to text messages.
“We have received a couple of phone calls from people who have received a spam email. And there was also a fake Instagram account that we were notified of,” said Gary Kohn of Wisconsin Lottery.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“It’s not uncommon or unusual after a big jackpot to see this type of activity,” said Kohn.
Bach says scammers tend to also include links in their text messages to news stories to make them seem more believable.
HOW TO REPORT SCAMS
To report a scam or track where they are happening, visit the BBB’s website. You can also call 800-273-1002.
The Wisconsin Lottery also has a “scam alert” page on its website.