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The North Carolina Education Lottery has issued a scam warning to alert the public to a fake email and social media posts from scammers claiming to be North Carolina’s Powerball jackpot winner, according to a news release.

In the case of the email, the person poses as the jackpot winner and offers to make a $4 million donation to an organization, the release states. The person then asks for $500 as a minimum deposit in the banking account that would provide the donation to the group.

In terms of social media, the post states it is from the jackpot winner, using photos of the winner. The post then states the money will be given away to social media followers, the release states.

“Gonna be blessing lucky people with $5,000,” said one impersonator. Another said: “I’m giving away $100,000 to my first 2k followers $$,” the release states.

“Unfortunately, scams like these are all too common,” Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery, states in the release. “Anyone who makes a promise of a donation or prize but wants you to give money first is trying to trick you. Never give your money or personal information to these people.”

Michalko said there have been cases in other states where the name of a big lottery winner is used in an effort to take advantage of people.

The lottery offers the following tips to protect oneself:

· Do not respond to a letter, email, phone call or social media post asking you to send money to get a donation or prize. No legitimate donor or lottery will ever send you this type of communication.

· Never give your credit card, Social Security number, driver’s license, passport or bank account numbers over the phone to someone promising you a donation or lottery prize.

As of Thursday, the lottery has spotted 36 cases of social media impersonators of the jackpot winner, the release states, adding that in each case, the lottery reports the fake site to the social media platform. The lottery also will report the email scam to the Consumer Protection Section of the N.C. Department of Justice.

Consumers who believe they have been the victim of a scam or an attempted scam can get assistance from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section by calling 1-877-5-NOSCAM or by filing a consumer complaint online at https://www.ncdoj.gov/complaint. The Education Lottery keeps information about lottery scams in a section of its website at https://www.nclottery.com/CorporateSocialResponsibility_Security.

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