Beware of Publishers Clearing House Scam!
Entered On: December 5, 2011, 4:18 pm
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department has become aware of yet another scam. This came to us from a Pima County citizen through the Pima County Sheriff’s website. This is how it goes:
A citizen of Pima County received a phone call from a person saying he was from the Publishers Clearing House. The caller even identified himself as, “Tom Robinson.” Mr. Robinson told the citizen (victim) that the victim had just won $3.5 million dollars. Mr. Robinson told the victim that he (victim) needed to pay $865.00 for the “luxury tax” BEFORE the award team arrived at his home. The victim was given instructions on where and how to wire the money using the Western Union. The caller also attempted to “rush” the victim by saying that the award team was on their way to his home and that he must have the “receipt” from Western Union before they arrived or he would automatically forfeit his “winnings.”
After the victim hung up with the caller, he called the Publishers Clearing House Fraud Line. There he learned that this was definitely a scam.
This victim had the wherewithal to obtain specific information such as phone number (which he verified with his caller I.D.), name and address. Because of his ability to see through what he believed was a scam, he prevented himself from becoming a victim. However, the victim did advise that the caller did sound fairly convincing. Add this to the holiday wish for some extra cash; some people would have undoubtedly fallen for this scam.
A legitimate sweepstakes will NEVER ask you to send money to enter a sweepstakes, claim a prize, or to pay a fee, tax or deposit. It you are asked to send money to claim a sweepstakes prize for any reason you are being scammed. There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back.
Always be aware of persons on the phone trying to rush you to make a decision. Protect yourself:
Never send money to “claim your prize.”
Be suspicious of junk mail solicitations.
Hang up on persistent callers. If calls become threatening, notify law enforcement immediately.
If you have lost money, report it at once. Contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (www.azag.gov). Once you have fallen victim to one scam, it is likely you will be targeted for future scams.
If you believe you are the victim of a “scam” immediately notify your local law enforcement by calling 911.
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