A New Jersey man is accused of using a lottery scam to steal over $100,000 from a Canandaigua woman. Earl Alton Smith, 40, is charged with felony grand larceny. New York State Police say an 84-year-old woman 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. The woman sent Smith two checks totaling $10,500 in late October 2017. After several months of investigating, an arrest warrant was issued for Smith. He was arrested prior to boarding a plane in Newark, New Jersey. Smith is being held in the Ontario County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. State Police say 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.
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