When Tom Crist won the $40 million (Canada) Lotto Max jackpot last year he decided to donate all his winnings to a charity set up in the name of his late wife. Now merciless internet fraudsters are trying to take advantage of Crist's generosity by using his name in a scam email campaign designed to line their own pockets.
The bogus emails state that the recipient has been chosen to receive a $1.2 million share of Crist's winnings, but before the funds can be released they will be required to part with personal information. Victims are also told that they will need to pay an upfront fee to cover various legal and insurance costs.
Last week the Sun ran a story about a woman who was taken in by the emails and lost $550. She is now unable to afford to buy her son the puppy she had promised him.
Naeemah Mitchell from Massachusetts was convinced she was dealing with the real Tom Crist and told him, via an exchange of emails, that she had lost her parents and her husband, and understood how it felt to lose someone you love.
Crist is aware of the scam emails and feels disappointed that his good intentions are being perverted in this way.
"People are trying to take advantage of a good thing and that's really unfortunate," Crist said. "And I just say stay away from it. I am sending nothing out, whether it's Facebook, email, anything. There's nothing going out from the real Tom Crist right now—Period!"