A Powerball winner wants to give away all of his money — to folks just like you! All you have to do is pay $390 to open an “off-shore bank account” and the lucky lottery winner will wire you $750,000 — just because he’s feeling generous.
And if you believe that, well, then you will probably fall for the latest e-mail scam that uses the name of a real Powerball lottery winner to sucker gullible victims into forking over not only their hard-earned cash, but confidential details about their identities as well.
Like so many e-mail scams, authorities believe this one has its origins in Nigeria. But the “new twist,” said FBI official Bridget Patton, is that this scam uses actual details of a Powerball jackpot winner to establish its credentials as the genuine article.
The e-mail circulating around the United States says that Kevin Carlson, a 49-year-old former mechanic from Kansas City, Missouri, won $71.5 million in the Powerball lottery on Christmas day last year. And now, the e-mail says, Carlson wants to share his new found wealth, and he will give you — yes, you — $750,000, if only you will follow some simple instructions.
What appears to have some people fooled is that the details about Carlson are true, and the scam e-mail links to a Kansas City Star article to prove it. The man did indeed win a Powerball jackpot totaling $71.5 million on December 25 last year. He claimed his cash the very next day.
But, the part about Carlson now planning to bequeath his new found fortune to randomly selected total strangers? Not surprisingly, that part is totally false.
The e-mail, written in Carlson’s name, has the man supposedly feeling pangs of guilt over accumulating such massive wealth and feeling a sudden need to “pay it forward.”
“My 14 years old cousin told me How come you are planning on getting a 290,000.00 USD car when there are family out there that still depend on pay check to survive,” the phony “Carlson” writes in the e-mail.
The e-mail comes from a domain name that has been traced to Benin City, Nigeria.
As obvious as the Powerball scam would appear to be, especially in light of the many e-mail scams that have been floating around for the past several years, the Star newspaper reported that it has received e-mails from people from as far away as Delaware, Texas and California wanting to know if they were in line to receive some of Carlson’s Powerball winnings.