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Police watching Mass. Powerball winner

By ANTONIO PLANAS
Boston Herald

August 31. 2017 12:14AM
Mavis Wanczyk of Chicopee, Mass., the winner of the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot is pictured in Braintree, Mass, in this handout photo from last week. (Massachusetts State Lottery/Handout via REUTERS)

Chicopee police are keeping a watchful eye on the home of Mavis Wanczyk, who had the sole winning ticket on a $758 million Powerball jackpot last week, and have issued a warning about social media scams exploiting her name.

Chicopee police spokesman Michael Wilk said Tuesday there have been about a half-dozen ­instances of people “knocking on doors, asking where she lives” since Wanczyk’s big Powerball windfall last week.

Wilk said Wanczyk’s newfound fortune has not burdened the department, which is using patrol officers assigned near her neighborhood to cruise past her house. The measure has not caused the department any overtime, police said.

“Around the country, when there have been big lottery winners, there have been house break-ins and stuff like that. We’re there as a deterrent and to keep her safe.” Police Tuesday also warned, through their Facebook page, that people should not fall for the social media schemes that are attempting to exploit Wanczyk’s identity in order to scam people out of money.

“We are well aware of many fake accounts being created on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram stating they are Mavis Wanczyk and that following and answering private messages will result in you getting money. PLEASE do not fall for these scams. DO NOT give out any personal infor­mation to these accounts. Do not fall victim to a scammer by releasing ANY of your information ... if you see these accounts, report them as fake on those media platforms,” a police statement said.

Some of the fake accounts have targeted susceptible populations, such as college students who are struggling for money. Other accounts are also using Wanczyk’s image from news articles in order to try to trick unsuspecting victims, police said.

“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Wilk said. “We don’t want you to lose your hard-earned money.”


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