Article published on 22 January 2014

Scammers Using Canadian Lotto Win as Bait

Scammers Impersonate Lotto Max Winner Crist
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When Tom Crist from Calgary won a massive $40 million Lotto Max jackpot last year, he instantly vowed to donate the entire sum to charity, in honor of the memory his wife who died of lung cancer.

However, scammers are now using that promise as bait to get unsuspecting victims to part with their hard-earned cash in return for being on the receiving on of Crist's generosity.

There have been reports from across North America that people have been approached by scammers impersonating Crist, or those working on behalf of his charity "foundation", claiming that they have been chosen to receive a payout.

The "winners" are asked to send a few hundred dollars in order to open a bank account, with promises that they will have millions deposited into their accounts.  Of course, once they part with their money, they don't hear from the scammers again.

Lotto Max Win Intended for Charity

When Tom Crist got the call last year that he was the winner of the largest Lotto Max win in the history of WCLC lotteries, his very first decision was to see that the money would go to worthy causes.

As CEO of an electronics company for 44 years, the retired Crist banked himself $1.4 billion when he sold his business, and therefore the didn't need the Lotto Max win.

"I've been fortunate enough," he said. "I did very well for myself. I've done enough that I can look after myself, for my kids, so they can get looked after into the future. I don't really need the money."

But what Crist really wanted to do was honor the memory of his beloved wife Jan, who passed away in 2012 from cancer.  A foundation was created in her name and the $40 million Lotto Max win will be distributed among charities, many of them cancer related.

Authorities Warn Against Canada Lottery Scam

In the meantime, authorities are warning people to be vigilant against attempts to defraud them of their money by people posing to be representing Crist and his foundation.

One of the victims was a single mother of two from Calgary who was approached by what turned out to be a scammer, claiming that Crist had chosen her to receive $2 million.

Naeemah Mitchell said that she was "usually pretty savvy about that kind of thing" but nevertheless was convinced to part with $500 to cover administrative costs.

"I thought I was talking to Tom Crist, and he told me the story of his wife - I told him I understood how it is to lose someone you love, because I lost my parents and husband," she said.

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