The thought of winning $1 million and a new car may seem like a dream come true.
Unfortunately for local residents who fall for this scam targeting Warren County residents, their dream of riches will be replaced by the reality of losing hundred of dollars.
This scam is using the Publishers Clearing House name and contacting local residents by phone. The claim is they have won $1 million and a new car from Publishers Clearing House. The catch is they have to send in $885 immediately in order to collect their winnings.
Law enforcement officials say this is one of the most common scams being used today. The “winner” never receives any of the promised prizes and they lose the money they send in.
According to the Publishers Clearing House website, “All PCH prizes of $500 or greater are awarded by either certified or express letter or in person by our famous Prize Patrol at our option.”
The website goes on to state a person will never receive a bulk mailing, email, or phone call to let them know they are a winner. Legitimate companies do not require winners to pay a fee to receive a sweepstakes prize, law enforcement officials say.
Three local residents have contacted the newspaper office in the past week complaining of this scam. They all told similar stories.
They were contacted by a person claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House who said they had won $1 million and a new Mercedes. The caller then instructed the local resident to go to their bank immediately – before talking to anyone – to get an $885 prepaid card. One of the residents reported getting about 10 phone calls in a two-hour period.
The caller was said to talk with a heavy foreign accent and became increasingly demanding as the phone calls persisted.
Law enforcement officials say people should realize they are the target of a scam if the caller asks them to send money immediately before talking to anyone.