Portage woman almost scammed by man claiming to be Wisconsin lottery winner

Portage woman almost scammed by man claiming to be Wisconsin lottery winner
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Shirley Hoel came close to being scammed by a man claiming to be Manuel Franco, the man who won $768.4 million from Wisconsin Lottery in April.

Hoel found contact information for who she thought was Franco on the Internet. The stranger told her he was, in fact, Manuel Franco and wanted to share his winnings with her. He offered her up to $100,000.

“It was just a miracle because we were so on the verge of having to shut it down,” Hoel said about how the financial help would allow her to keep her animal rescue open.

After communicating through text messages, the scammer told her that she would need to purchase ITunes gift cards in order to receive the money.

“That’s when I realized it was a scam, because when you win something, people are not supposed to ask you for money,” Hoel said.

The Better Business Bureau said this type of scam is not uncommon.

A man pretending to be a lottery winner almost scammed a Portage woman. @WisconsinBBB says to never give information or money to strangers without verifying who they are. #News3Now

— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) July 5, 2019

“Scammers will always try to find a way to use what is going on currently to try to get money,” spokeswoman Lisa Schiller said. “They will be creative, and they actually follow the news.”

Schiller recommends to always be cautious before giving money or information to strangers.

“The bottom line is to never pay money to get money. Never pay money in an untraceable method or to a stranger. Lastly, if it sounds too good to be true, it is,” Schiller said.

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