I thought couple who won £61million in the lottery wanted to help me get out of £7,000 debt – but I was left disgusted

A WOMAN who thought she was receiving help with her debts from a lottery-winning couple was left disgusted after finding out it was a cruel scam carried out by an imposter.

Dympna McKenna, 47, believed she was chatting to Richard and Debbie Nuttall over Facebook.

Dympna McKenna managed to avoid a scam after initially thinking she might get financial help she needs


Dympna McKenna managed to avoid a scam after initially thinking she might get financial help she needsCredit: SWNS
Debbie and Richard Nuttall won £61m on EuroMillions earlier this year


Debbie and Richard Nuttall won £61m on EuroMillions earlier this yearCredit: SWNS

The Nuttalls from Colne, Lancashire, won £61m in a EuroMillions jackpot while holidaying in Fuerteventura for their 30th wedding anniversary earlier this year.

McKenna, from Birmingham, has been desperately trying to get out of debt for the last few years and remains with £7,000 hanging over her head.

She thought her prayers had been answered when a friend of a friend told her they’d been speaking with the lottery winners and said they might be able to help.

McKenna decided to reach out via Facebook to who she thought was Richard.

She said she “bared her soul” and revealed she was desperate to find some help for her and her daughter Dakota, 10, and the £7,000 debt she is in.

The mum said she initially cried when they offered her cash.

She said of her situation: “She has sleepless nights with anxiety. I’m always on her bed holding her hand. I can’t work.”

But soon she started to realise all wasn’t as it seemed when they started to ask her for identifying information.

The Nuttalls had nothing to do with it and were being impersonated on social media by a heartless scammer.

McKenna said: “For new lottery winners, why were they investing so much time into messaging me? You’d be spending your money.”

‘Nobody was holding a gun to my head,’ nan says after handing over $25k in box – it all started while playing Wordle

Although Dympna didn’t fall for the scam she is worried others have.
She said: “I feel sick for them. They could be losing thousands of pounds.

“I’m angry that these people are doing this.”

Now she wants to warn others who might not be aware it’s a scam.

Dympna, who is a full-time carer for her autistic daughter, said: “I bared my soul – that’s why I’m mad.

“They are sat behind a computer.

“How can a person go from being an innocent baby to a monster? It’s disgusting.”

Lottery operator Allwyn said they contacted Meta and the account has been removed.

A spokesman said: “We are aware that there are individuals and organisations that attempt to obtain payment or personal details from people under a variety of pretexts.

“The National Lottery, winners of The National Lottery and other lotteries are sometimes falsely used as part of these scams.

“We would urge people to remember that, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

“The National Lottery website provides security advice in respect of lottery ‘scams’.

“As always, if any individual believes they are a victim of crime, they should contact their local police.”

Learn how to spot and avoid the latest internet scams

With so many new scams every day, it’s never been more important to look after your hard-earned cash.

The TSB Bank’s director of fraud prevention, Paul Davis, offers advice to keep your money out of fraudsters’ hands.

SOCIAL SCARES: On social media, you don’t know if you’re in contact with the genuine person or if an advert is legitimate.

Purchase fraud is the biggest category of fraud in the banking sector.

Facebook Marketplace leaves consumers particularly vulnerable as payment is by bank transfer.

It’s better, if you can, to view the item and pay in person.

TEXT TROUBLE: A huge 72 per cent of impersonation fraud is scammers posing as friends or family via text, urgently asking for help with household bills.

In one case, a scammer impersonated the victim’s daughter to request money for a wedding — info they found via the victim’s social media.

Always contact the person directly to check it’s them.

  • DO be suspicious of any “out-of-the-blue” messages.
  • DON’T click on links, definitely don’t provide any personal or banking information.
  • DO remember that social media scams are rife. Be wary of random profiles and resist “too good to be true” investment messages.
  • DON’T send money to someone without contacting them directly first, to guarantee the payment reaches the final destination.
  • DO pay attention to messages from your bank. The name-check technology for bank transfers contains important fraud checks.
  • DON’T let the person on the other end of the phone, text or email, rush and panic you. Have a cup of tea and think it through.
Dympna McKenna with her daughter Dakota, who is autistic


Dympna McKenna with her daughter Dakota, who is autisticCredit: SWNS


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