A Nanaimo woman lost more than $25,000 after being swindled in a lottery scam that promised $750 million and a Mercedes-Benz.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, this past March, the senior received a number of phone calls from a man who stated his name was Dave Morin. The man told the woman she had won the grand prize of a lottery and in order to claim her prize she had to “pay some up-front taxes.”
In the span of three weeks, the victim was contacted numerous times and instructed to buy either Vanilla pre-paid gift cards or send cash by mail to a number of addresses in B.C. and across North America. In total, she sent close to $16,000 by mail and spent $10,600 on pre-paid cards, said the press release.
When the prize never arrived, she consulted with a family member and realized she had been duped. She changed her number and no longer has a landline, the press release said.
The scam often comes in other forms, said the press release, sometimes through correspondence via e-mail, social media, phone or mail, with fraudsters sometimes claiming to be with Reader’s Digest or Publisher’s Clearing House.
“Sadly, this happens more often that not, and in many cases the victim only realizes that they have been scammed when the prize never comes,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, in the release.