Canadian lottery winner, Scott Gurney, has warned social media users of scammers impersonating him on Facebook and conning unsuspecting victims of their bitcoins. Gurney, who won $55 million in the Canadian Lotto Max jackpot, confirmed that one individual lost $300 worth of bitcoins to a con artist who impersonated him. The scammers create fake Facebook accounts, using Gurney’s name and image holding the lottery cheque, to lure victims. In response, Gurney has stopped accepting or sending friend requests on Facebook to counter the scammers. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation has also issued a statement warning punters to be wary of solicited messages that ask them to divulge private information.
The Times Colonist reported that one person lost bitcoin worth $450 after contacting one of the fake accounts. The scammers have also discredited other accounts to make their fake accounts appear more legitimate. Gurney advised anyone responding to the scammers’ promises to be wary of offers that are too good to be true. He added: “I’m sorry that people have maybe been down on their luck and are looking for those avenues, but I don’t know many people who just hand out cash easily.”
As a financial adviser, Gurney has taken a proactive step to counter the tactics of scammers by stopping the acceptance or sending of friend requests on Facebook. The Canadian Crown Corporation has urged recipients of unsolicited messages to report such messages to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and to be cautious and not reveal any personal information or make any monetary payment.
The rise of social media has led to an increase in scams and frauds, with cybercriminals using fake accounts to impersonate individuals and organisations to dupe victims. The use of cryptocurrencies has also made it easier for scammers to operate anonymously and evade detection. In response, social media platforms have implemented measures to detect and remove fake accounts, but scammers continue to find ways to bypass these measures. As such, it is important for individuals to be vigilant and cautious when interacting with unknown entities on social media.
In conclusion, the case of Scott Gurney highlights the need for caution when dealing with unsolicited messages and offers on social media. Scammers continue to use fake accounts and impersonations to dupe victims, and it is important for individuals to be aware of these tactics and take proactive measures to protect themselves. The rise of cryptocurrencies has also made it easier for scammers to operate anonymously, and individuals should exercise caution when dealing with cryptocurrency transactions. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre provides resources and information on how to protect oneself from fraud and scams.