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Fake News: $451 million lottery winner Shane Missler NOT giving away $5,000 to retweeters

Jan 16, 2018, 10:05 am

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Scam Alert

By Todd Northrop

When a 20-year-old Florida man won a $451 Mega Millions jackpot earlier this month, the first thing he did was post a brief social media post.

Now Internet scammers have mimicked him, and are creating numerous bogus social media accounts in an attempt to deceive people looking for a share of the loot.

Shane Missler won the $451 million Mega Millions jackpot on January 5, 2018, but opted for a lump sum payment of $281.2 million instead of the full amount divided into 30 payments over 29 years.

A Twitter account purporting to be owned by Missler put out a tweet yesterday saying the first 50,000 followers to retweet and like it would get $5,000. 

Unfortunately the tweet (archived here) is bogus:

The twitter account @Shane_Missler was only registered on January 15th 2018 while Shane's real account @TheShaneMissler was registered in February 2016. He already used it to put out a warning about fake accounts:

That didn't seem to stop many people from taking a chance anyway. At the time of writing the fake tweet had over 21,000 retweets.

Ironically, around 5,000 of the people falling for the hoax would not get the $5,000 even if it were real, because they failed to follow the fake instructions and "like" the tweet in addition to retweeting it.

Illustrating the insidious nature of social media scams that prey on human nature, the tweet from Shane Missler's real Twitter account warning about the scams has received only around 200 retweets and 1,200 likes.

More and more

The bogus Twitter accounts just keep coming.

And more:

And more:

Although some may claim that these fake accounts are victimless scams since no money is actually exchanged, the victims are actually all the users of the Internet, who cannot trust anything they read or see.  The constant scamming turns social media into a cesspool of bogus accounts and information, and over time greatly increases the chances that one day you too will fall for a scam.

The best thing you can do when you see a social media post like these is to report it using the links on the post, and by all means do not like, share, or retweet the post. Doing so only spreads the foul post to more people.

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