A BC Couple Thought They'd Won $18M On The Lottery & Were Scammed Out Of Almost $400K

Scammers have gone to new lows.

RCMP car in BC. Right: Canadian $100 bills.

RCMP car in BC. Right: Canadian $100 bills.

A couple in B.C. lost almost $400,000 after they were convinced that they had won big in the lottery.

The couple was told that they had won $18.5 million in the lottery, plus a Mercedes-Benz car. As it turns out, they had not won anything and instead were scammed.

The Nanaimo RCMP is currently investigating the scam, which started in 2021 when an elderly couple received a call from someone who said they were with Reader's Digest, telling them that they had won.

The catch was that they needed to pay administrative fees before collecting the win.

According to the police, the couple even got fake documents in the mail that appeared to be official from the Internal Revenue Service.

Those documents told them to contact Mega Millions, saying that they needed to pay taxes on their lottery win.

The couple was convinced by the documents, as well as regular phone calls from the scammers, who told them how to make their payments.

They paid with cash, believing that they were covering tax fees and storage fees for what they thought was their brand-new car.

Over the course of the year, they made almost $400,000 in cash payments to the scammers, which were delivered through bank drafts to "various addresses," police said.

Constable Gary O’Brien, with the Nanaimo RCMP, said that the "financial loss the couple experienced is significant and is certainly one of the largest we have seen in Nanaimo."

"It also goes to shows that if fraudsters believe they have convinced you of their legitimacy, they will not stop until essentially there is no more money to give or you figure out it is a scam," O’Brien added.

Morgan Leet
Morgan Leet is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media based in Vancouver, B.C.