Poynette woman calls for action over million-dollar scam

Poynette woman calls for action over million-dollar scam

A Poynette woman is warning others of a scam that’s offering its victims nearly a million dollars.

Carol Byczek received a text message from a man who said he’d just won the lottery and wanted to donate $950,000 of his winnings to her.

“I thought, ‘Oh, what is this? But OK, I’ll play along,'” Byczek said.

Byczek continued to text with the man, who said his name was John Henry, and the offer seemed relatively safe.

“They never asked for my banking information, and that made it seem more legitimate,” she said.

Byczek said Henry offered to deposit the money in a Swiss bank account as long as Byczek opened an account there and deposited $2,500 first.

Directors with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said this is not a game to keep playing.

“Whenever somebody’s asking you for money in order to get money, don’t believe it,” said Frank Frassetto, DATCP’s administrator of the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection.

Scams like these come in spades, and Carol’s game could have gone much worse. Had she handed over any personal information, it could have resulted in identity theft.

DATCP officials said to avoid identity theft never give out your personal info. Legitimate companies or agencies don’t call, email or text asking for it.

Also sign up for the Do Not Call registry at www.donotcall.gov. You can list both your home and cellphone numbers on the site to avoid spam calls.

DATCP also suggests shredding your documents — anything from bills, bank statement, receipts, credit card offers and more.

Byczek also has a suggestion.

“I think any average person, your gut will tell you,” she said. “Go with [your gut.] That’s my advice.”