Lottery winner Theodorus Struyck falls victim to copycat Edwin Castro scam as sinister messages revealed

POWERBALL winner Theodorus Struyck already has several scammers pretending to be him to get private information from social media users – much like lottery champ Edwin Castro.

The 65-year-old grandfather, who resides in the small mountain town of Frazier Park, California, was part of a syndicate that won $1.7 billion – the second-biggest win in US history.

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Theodorus Struyck has yet to be seen in public since his $1.7billion windfall as part of a mystery syndicateCredit: Facebook/Theodorus Struck
Dozens of fake profiles have already popped up using his name and claiming to be giving out donations

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Dozens of fake profiles have already popped up using his name and claiming to be giving out donationsCredit: Instagram/theodorusstruyck
Edwin Castro also fell victim to the same copycats on social media who tried to scam social media users

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Edwin Castro also fell victim to the same copycats on social media who tried to scam social media usersCredit: The US Sun – Commissioned by The US Sun Digital edition

Although the draw was in November, he was named as the representative of the group earlier this month and has kept a low profile ever since.

He appears to only use one Facebook page, which has been locked down since the win made headline news.

But that hasn’t stopped dozens of accounts popping up using his full name and photograph.

The U.S. Sun has found many scam pages set up on both Facebook and Instagram with users and bots pretending to be the winner and offering cash to followers.

One bio on Instagram reads: “I’m Mr Theodorus Struyck, the mega winner of $1.765 billion in Midway market by @powerball I’m willing to help follow and just dm with I follow @.”

A fake screenshot shows $15,000 in one follower’s account, with a text reading: “Thanks so much I really appreciate I thought this was a dem lie. Thanks so much Theodorus.”

Some have commented on the posts asking if they can be helped as they are having financial difficulties.

CASH APP SCAM

Another fake profile on Facebook includes a sinister message: “Beware of scam I started seeing different profile after my name has been announced be careful of PF.”

Yet another account includes a misspelled message reading: “I have been getting tremendous amount of $$ request, I am going to bless some of you all, so be patient with me I’m reading each and everyone’s story you must have cash app I will be stating Easter Sunday [sic throughout].”

The U.S. Sun believes Theo does not own any of the donation accounts and has stayed off social media since his win, while many of his family have also made their pages private.

Incredible drone footage shows humble home of new ‘Edwin Castro’ Theodorus Struyck & how path to $1.7b was 500m away

Theo is not the first Powerball winner to fall victim to the catfishers as there are dozens of accounts in the name of Edwin Castro, who scooped $2.04billion back in 2022.

An unsuspecting victim previously issued a warning after receiving an e-mail from a fraudster pretending to be Castro.

The scammer promised to give $800,000 to “some selected individuals as donation.”

The e-mail, which came from a suspicious address, read: “Attention please. I am Edwin Castro the winner of the world’s greatest jackpot in a national lottery $2.05 billion.”

The imposter included a link supposedly to a Guinness World Record page.

DONATION LIES

The e-mail then urged the user to contact “Mr Raymond Bradson” – a name that has been linked to other scams according to reviews on Google – with the donation code and personal details.

It ended with “Bradson’s” contact information, along with the sign-off: “Best regards, Edwin Castro.”

The victim, who wished to remain anonymous, told The U.S. Sun, “I was mortified – I knew immediately this sounded too good to be true, but it still had me tempted to click, especially with the cost of living crisis.

“Edwin’s been all over the news – so for a single moment it all seemed very believable.”

He went on: “I told a friend about it – and he assured me it was a scam. I was so glad I double-checked.

“What if someone else less cautious or tech-savvy had received it, like my elderly parents?

“These scammers are shameless – playing off our desperation.”

It is thought Castro only has a private Instagram page, and his legal team has dealt directly with charities to give personal donations privately to causes close to his heart.

The lottery winner has not made a statement since he was named publicly in March

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The lottery winner has not made a statement since he was named publicly in MarchCredit: Facebook
Fake message screenshots show an account thanking the catfish for a donation of $20,000 through an app

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Fake message screenshots show an account thanking the catfish for a donation of $20,000 through an appCredit: Instagram/theodorusstruyck
Struyck remortgaged his home for $93k before lotto win and has now paid off the property and set up a trust

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Struyck remortgaged his home for $93k before lotto win and has now paid off the property and set up a trustCredit: Toby Canham – Commissioned by The US Sun Digital edition

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