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TORONTO – It was an unexpected phone call. An Ontarian learned he won $ 3.5 million in a lottery he had never participated in.

“They congratulated me and told me I was one of the big mega-million-dot comers,” Ajax man Clayton Willett told CTV News Toronto.

Willett, a senior, was ordered to collect his prize, he would have to purchase a $ 200 gift card first to start the process.

After that, he was told that he would need to send more money to cover taxes, customs fees and other expenses.

“They said (the price) was three and a half million dollars. Two and a half million would be a certified check, one million dollars would be handed over by the US marshals and they were going to deliver a 2021 Chrysler 300,” Willett said. . . “I was ecstatic.”

Willett said he handed over a total of over $ 18,000 before his family and friends convinced him it was a scam.

“They told me if I had to pay $ 3,000 they could have the car delivered here and the American marshals would bring the money. Then when that was done I had to find another $ 6,000. In total, I invested $ 18,130, ”said Willett.

Willett says he’s embarrassed to be scammed, but wanted to share his story to prevent it from happening to someone else.

Some lottery scam warning signs include being notified that you have won the lottery that you have never heard of and being asked to make upfront payments to collect the tour prize. People may be told that it is a fee, tax or duty and that you are asked to provide your banking information.

“I’m losing $ 18,130, but I just hope nobody’s as stupid as me,” Willett said. “I hope that by doing this interview I can help someone not get caught up in this kind of thing.”

If you are contacted by letter, email, or phone call saying you have won the lottery, you should never respond.

If you do, you could end up on a list of scammers and also be the target of other types of fraud.

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