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Warning Issued Over EuroMillions Email Scam

Warning Issued Over EuroMillions Email Scam

Police in Northern Ireland have warned the public to ignore bogus emails claiming to be from County Tyrone EuroMillions winner Margaret Loughrey. Since Loughrey announced that she would bestow the lion’s share of her lottery winnings on good causes, internet scammers have been sending unsolicited communications under the 48-year-old woman’s name, hoping to defraud unwitting victims.

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The emails suggest that the recipients have been chosen to receive a donation from Loughrey and that their bank account details are required for the payment of the sum. A police spokesman has warned the public not to reveal personal or financial information to any unauthorised person.

This isn’t the first time that Loughrey’s win has been used by fraudsters - a different email scam quickly popped up in January 2014 after she came forward to claim her prize. Unwitting victims received messages in broken English about being personally chosen to receive a US $1 million (£600,000) donation from “President Margaret Loughrey”. The victims were then asked to supply the scammers with their personal details.

Margaret Loughrey won £27 million on EuroMillions at the end of last year after purchasing the lucky ticket whilst out job hunting. She recently claimed that she would give away all but £1 million, having already donated half of her fortune to people in need. Loughrey intends to use at least £13.5 million of her money to give her hometown of Strabane a facelift, with the goal of transforming it into a tourist destination.

Unfortunately fraudsters attempting to take advantage of such public goodwill is no new phenomenon; similar scam communications have been reported citing the names of Scotland’s Colin and Christine Weir, the couple who won £161 million on EuroMillions in 2011. Fraudsters contacted potential victims informing them that they could become beneficiaries of the Weirs’ charitable trust before requesting their bank details and draining their accounts.

For more on how to spot such schemes as well as tips on how to avoid falling victim to them, visit our EuroMillions Lottery Scams page and heed the advice of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who insist that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Written by Matthew Swift

Page Last Updated: 22/01/2015 15:43:13