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'I want to put him in jail': Woman loses $11K in giveaway scam involving Arizona lottery winners

A Florida woman lost $11,000 after falling for a scam that claimed to be giving away money from Arizona lottery winners.

PHOENIX — A Florida woman lost an estimated $11,000 to a scammer who said he represented Arizona lottery winners who had decided to give away the winnings.

Diana Izurieta said she got a text message from someone claiming to represent a Gilbert couple who won $474 million in the lottery this year. The message said the couple had picked 50 people at random across the country to give $90,000 each. The text gave a number to contact, "Mr. Woodman," to coordinate payment.

A Gilbert couple did win more than $474 million in the Powerball drawing in 2022, and they chose to remain anonymous. But everything else was a scam.

"They took out maybe $1,000," Izurieta said. "And then they started asking for credit card numbers and everything."

Izurieta said, "Mr. Woodman" was asking for transfer fees, taxes, money to settle IRS charges...more and more money.

Each time the scammer claimed she would be reimbursed once the lottery money came through.

“And they're like, you got to pay, it doesn't matter how...borrow money," she said. 

Izurieta said this went on for five months.

Eventually, Izurieta said, she added up the total amount of money she had sent: $11,000.

It's a scam the Arizona lottery has seen before.

In 2020, lottery officials warned about a similar scam claiming to be from a Glendale couple that won more than $400 million. 

"Be careful, be leery," Gregg Edgar, Executive Director of the Arizona Lottery, said. "If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true."

Edgar said the lottery forwards these scams to the Arizona Attorney General's office when they come up.

But Izurieta has come to realize that her money is gone. But she's holding out hope that law enforcement will be able to find "Mr. Woodman."

“I just want to put his ass in jail," she said."I want to put him in jail...somehow.”

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