A Mega Millions lottery jackpot winner’s “giving back” campaign on Twitter looks and sounds an awful lot like a scam.

Numerous Twitter profiles have been popping up claiming to be operated by Shane Missler, a 20-year-old resident of Florida who won the $451 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot in January. Many of those new accounts use their Twitter bios to promote a campaign that would initially appeal to all of us. All someone needs to do is follow the profile and retweet; if they are among the first 50,000 followers to do so, they will receive $5,000 as part of a “giving back” campaign supposedly launched by the lottery winner.

Just a few of the Twitter accounts created in Missler’s name. Many of the profiles use variations of the same bio promoting the “giving back” campaign. (Source: Malwarebytes)

Sounds good, right? Almost a little too good?

That’s because it probably is. Aside from the sheer number of Twitter profiles promoting the same campaign, all of which are unverified on the social media platform, there are several notable issues with the campaign itself. At the top of the list is the fact that Missler didn’t win $451 million. He won the jackpot, but as reported BBC News, he decided to take a single payment of $282 million rather than receive the full jackpot amount over a period of time. After taxes, he can expect to receive $211 million.

Let’s look at the math: 50,000 x 5,000 = $250 million, a sum that is far larger than what he can expect to receive from his single lottery payout.

The issues don’t end there, either. Many of the promotional bios also encourage users to “sign up and purchase in link below for an instant $2,000.” Christopher Boyd, lead malware intelligence analyst (Read more...)