Con artists using TN lottery winner's name in scam - WSMV News 4

Con artists using TN lottery winner's name in scam

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Roy Cockrum of Knoxville has promised to use his $259 million in Powerball winnings to help others. Roy Cockrum of Knoxville has promised to use his $259 million in Powerball winnings to help others.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

When an actor and former monk won the biggest lottery jackpot in Tennessee history, it made international headlines. Now, con artists are trying to cash in on his name.

Roy Cockrum of Knoxville promised to use his $259 million in Powerball winnings to help others.

Targeted victims report someone's using Cockrum's name and promises to try to scam people.

"I got this phenomenal e-mail announcing a $3 million winning awarded to me out of the blue," said Juan Vasquez of Phoenix, Arizona.

Vasquez said he received an e-mail from someone claiming they want to improve the lives of three lucky individuals all over the world. The sender claimed to be Cockrum.

"I'm a believer in good luck," said Vasquez. "I'm a firm believer that I do have good luck, but something just didn't jive from that."

According to the PR firm representing Cockrum, Moxley Carmichael, Cockrum has already determined where his funds will be donated. In a statement they explained, "He is not sending e-mails offering money to individuals. No person or organization not previously known to Mr. Cockrum will be offered any prize money."

"I got an e-mail saying to collect my winnings, I needed to pay up to $480 for an immediate transfer of the $3 million," said Vasquez.

A woman in Antioch also tells Channel 4 she was told to pay hundreds in exchange for a chunk of lottery winnings from someone claiming to be Cockrum.

"It's horrible," said Vasquez. "That's why I wanted to reach out. We work hard for our money, so you want to do your due diligence."

Channel 4 wrote back to the person claiming to be Cockrum who ignored our questions about his validity and instead just replied, 'The donation is for [Vasquez] alone.'

Vasquez said he didn't fall for the scam and just hates that someone's using Cockrum's story to try and steal from others.

"He is donating to good organizations, he is a great guy and he does have great fortune," said Vasquez. "He's got a tremendous winning. Just the fact that he's donating his winnings gives a lot of validity to this scam going out there. There are some good things that happen out there, but don't be afraid to check them."

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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