Channel 2's Jim Strickland speaks with the victims

North Georgia couple duped out of $3k in Facebook lottery scam

A north Georgia couple is feeling the loss after being duped out of more than $3,000 in a social media lottery scam.

Rose and Roger Simpson, of Hiawassee, told Channel 2 Action News they were swindled after scammers sent fake Facebook messages telling them that they were winners of a $60,000 Powerball prize. In order to claim the prize money, the Simpsons said they had to send money, Channel 2 reported.

The couple wired a total of $3,325 over six months and never received a dime of the prize money.

“I went along with it for so long,” Rose Simpson told the news station. “You know I’ve got a daughter…because of diapers and stuff.”

The Simpsons still had the stack of Western Union receipts, from cash wires sent over a six-month period to a west African address.

Roger Simpson told Channel 2 that the con was so slick that he sold a motorcycle to come up with more cash.

Rose Simpson told the television station their 4-month-old daughter was one reason they kept hoping for the jackpot.

The couple said they regret being duped.

“It disgusts me especially with my husband and I on disability,” Rose Simpson said. “I’m out $3,325 from all of this.”

Rose and Roger Simpson told Channel 2 that they filed a police report, but it’s likely the scammers used phone numbers that are impossible to track, the station said.

Winners aren’t required to pay for prizes, a Georgia lottery official said.

“We really want our winners to be informed, to be aware and to protect themselves,” Georgia lottery spokeswoman Tandi Reddick told Channel 2.

Additionally, Facebook blocked the lottery scammer from sending further messages.

The Simpsons are swallowing any embarrassment to protect the next would-be victim, according to Channel 2.

“Do not do this,” the couple said. “If you get a message like this, ignore it don’t even think about it.”

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.