CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WHAM) - New York State Police say a New Jersey man is facing grand larceny charges after an investigation revealed he used a lottery scam to steal over $10,000 from a Canandaigua woman.
According to police at the State Police at the Canandaigua Bureau of Criminal Investigation, 40-year-old Earl Alton Smith is accused of being involved in a lottery scam.
Troopers say an 84-year-old woman from Canandaigua was told she had won the grand prize in a sweepstakes/lottery, and told she needed to pay the taxes in order to get the payout.
Due to the scam, Smith was able to receive two checks from the woman, totaling $10,500, in late October 2017.
After several months of investigating, an arrest warrant was issued for Smith and he was arrested just prior to boarding a plane in Newark, New Jersey.
He was remanded to the Ontario County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.
State Police would like to remind the public that this fraudulent activity is very common and has been going on for many years.
It is extremely unusual, if not impossible, to win a sweepstakes/lottery that you did not enter, especially if it is claimed to be a foreign lottery.
If any “taxes” or “processing fees” involve payment by gift cards, iTunes cards, a wire transfer, and the like, it is a scam.