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Be wary of scammers pretending to be Chicopee Powerball winner, police say

Fake social media accounts for Mavis Wanczyk, the Powerball winner, are popping up and asking for people's information.
mavis wanczyk, powerballl
Winner of the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot Mavis L. Wanczyk, right, poses for a photo with Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, left, in Braintree, Mass., Aug. 24, 2017. Photo: Getty Images

After a Chicopee resident won the Powerball jackpot last week, local police are warning residents that scammers are creating social media accounts in the winner’s name.

Mavis Wanczyk, 53, won the second largest jackpot in the lottery’s history last week, a $758.7 million prize.

Now, fake accounts offering some of that money are being made in Wanczyk’s name.

The Chicopee Police Department said in a Facebook post that it is “well aware of many fake accounts being created on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram stating that they are Mavis Wanczyk and that following and answering private messages will result in you getting money.”

Police are asking people to report any such accounts they see as fake on those social media platforms.

“PLEASE do not fall for these scams,” the department added. “DO NOT give out any personal information to these accounts. Do not fall victim to a scammer by releasing ANY of your information.”

One such Twitter account with the handle @MavisWanczyk758 said in a tweet on Monday, “I will be giving away a special gift to my first 100K followers! All you have to do is RT & follow this account & reply with Cash App ID :)” That account has only four tweets and was created this month.

An Instagram account with the name “maviswanczykpball” has only one post that shows a picture of Wanczyk with her Powerball check. The caption reads, “I will be giving away a [shout out] and a very special gift to my first 50,000 followers!!” The exact same post appears on an account with the name “maviswanczyk757” and is also that account’s only post.

Wanczyk said at a news conference last week that she came forward only in hopes of getting the attention frenzy “over and done with” so that she could be left alone. She has not said if she plans to give any of the money away.

The former hospital worker seemed a bit overwhelmed at the focus on her after her win. When asked what she was going to do on the day the win was announced in order to celebrate, she said, "I'm going to go hide in my bed."

 
 
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