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Silver Creek man receives letter from scammer stating he won $9.5M through Mega Millions

Mike Steffan pointing at the letter he received from a scammer.
Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 12:48:15-04

SILVER CREEK, N.Y. (WKBW) — It is a situation that is just too good to be true.

A man in Silver Creek reached out to 7 News wanting to warn you about another scam to be on the lookout for.

This is a copy of a letter he received from the Mega Millions", in Spain, informing him that he won a jackpot worth nearly $10M.

Seventy-four-old Mike Steffan calls he and his wife avid lottery players.

"We do it almost every day," Silver Creek resident, Mike Steffan said. "Hopefully, I can win. It"s just fun to play in. When you're retired, you want to do something different."

The Silver Creek resident said he received a letter in the mail, about two days ago, claiming he had won a Mega Millions prize of $9.5M.

He said he is used to email scams, but never ones in his actual inbox.

"I delete more things than I read on my email. You have to be really careful with this stuff," Steffan joked.

He credits his attentive habit after noticing a number of caveats on the one-page paper. He immediately called 7 News to put a stop into the fraudulent company turning anyone into their money mule. The first issue her noticed the return address was in Madrid, Spain.

"Nobody gives you $9.5M for nothing," the Silver Creek resident said. "Then, you get to the bottom lines and you see where they get their fees before anything is sent to you. So, right away, there's a double whammy."

The letter was signed by a woman named Dr. Maria Fernandez, who claims to be the Mega Millions president.

Pheben Kassahun spoke with New York's Mega Millions office spokesperson, who stated the agency does not have a president but an executive director instead.

As for Steffan, he hopes other people his age do not fall victim to something that could possibly wipe their bank account clean.

The Better Business Bureau states the pandemic helped scammers sell their scams.

It emphasized you never have to pay to get a prize.

Do an internet search of the company, name, or phone number of the person who contacted you.

Talk to a trusted family member or your bank, if in doubt.

"I know there's a lot of old people that lose money to scams because they don't realize it's fake. I still have my senses about me, even at 74 years old, so I don't fall for anything," he added.