Woman who 'won lottery' on Facebook loses almost $400K

A woman who thought she won hundreds of thousands of dollars in a Facebook lottery has fallen victim to an elaborate scam.

The 79-year-old from the US state of Texas received a private inbox from a friend informing her she won about $550,000 in a “Facebook Lottery” but the steps she took following the news ended up losing her almost $400,000.

US news station ABC13 reports after receiving the message about the win from a close friend, she was told she could claim the prize by reaching out to another person through Facebook Messenger.

The woman ended up losing almost $400,000 in the alleged scam. Source: Getty/file

The unknown person she messaged confirmed her win, according to ABC13, but her excitement quickly took a turn for the worst.

She was told she had to pay almost $50,000 in taxes before she could retrieve the money.

According to court documents obtained by ABC13, she paid it before wiring another $77,000 a few days later. She then transferred another $30,000.

The woman received a private Facebook message informing her of the lottery win. Source: Getty/file

The documents revealed the elderly woman sent almost $400,000 in total to a number of different bank accounts but received nothing in return.

Police ended up tracing the transfers to Nurudeen A Bisuga, who has been charged with money laundering after allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands from the woman, ABC13 reports.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, download the Yahoo News app from iTunes or Google Play and stay up to date with the latest news with Yahoo’s daily newsletter. Sign up here.

competition