SUNSET BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – A Washington, DC-area man is in the Brunswick County Detention Center under a $1 million bond after he allegedly used a lottery scam to swindle tens of thousands of dollars from a Sunset Beach woman.
According to Det. Gurganus with the Sunset Beach Police Department, Olanrewaju Aju Thomas, 30, contacted the victim through Facebook and said she had won $250,000 in the Washington, DC, lottery.
Thomas allegedly told the victim that in order to claim the prize, she had to pay shipping, shipping insurance, tax, and an IRS fee.
The victim eventually reported the alleged fraud to Sunset Beach police on April 19.
Gurganus said Thomas was caught after they executed search warrants on his bank records.
Thomas was arrested in Washington on May 23 and booked into the Brunswick County Detention Center on May 26. He’s charged with four counts each of obtaining property by false pretense, accessing a computer by means of fraud, exploiting an older adult, and felony conspiracy.
According to officials, detectives were able to recover some of the money the victim lost in the scam.