Huge Calgary lotto win being used as bait in scam

Naeemah Mitchell with her sons Sterlin, 16 and Daetin, 9. The U.S. woman was scam for $300 by...

Naeemah Mitchell with her sons Sterlin, 16 and Daetin, 9. The U.S. woman was scam for $300 by someone pretending to represent Lotto Max winner Tom Crist, who vowed to give $40 million to charity. Family Handout/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency

Michael Platt, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

CALGARY -- For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction -- particularly when the world is full of lowlife vultures looking to prey on the vulnerable.

It explains why inboxes across North America are suddenly inundated with e-mails professing to come from Calgary's most famous millionaire -- the same Tom Crist who recently announced he's giving his $40 million lottery win away to charity.

"That's very sad -- it's so unfortunate," Crist said.

"I've heard of these fake e-mails, and obviously it's not me."

Crist's good deed has been turned into a cruel scam by opportunists -- and sadly, some have fallen for the con.

Naeemah Mitchell doesn't need to be told it was foolhardy to believe Crist would randomly choose her as the recipient of $2 million -- but the single mom from Massachusetts was desperate.

"I can't believe I was the victim of a scam -- I'm usually pretty saavy about that kind of thing," Mitchell said.

She admits hope got the better of her, after she replied in curiosity and received links to news stories about Crist's Lotto Max win, and his famous pledge to give it all away to charity.

Raising two sons alone after their father died eight years ago, the senior's care worker was further convinced when a man replied directly to her, saying he was Crist -- and that her losses reminded him of his own wife's death.

"I thought I was talking to Tom Crist, and he told me the story of his wife -- I told him I understood how it is to lose someone you love, because I lost my parents and husband," Mitchell said.


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