Publishers Clearing House Scam hits Alpena Area

ALPENA, MI – Alpena County Sheriff Steven J. Kieliszewski is warning residents of a new type of telephone scam.

In this scam a potential victim is told they have won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.  In each incident a man with a Middle Eastern accent has called potential victims advising them they have won money from Publishers Clearing House.

The potential victim is told that in order to obtain their winnings they needed to go to Walmart and put money on a prepaid debit card.

The caller instructs the person to call a phone number after they have put the required amount of money on the card and to provide the card number when they call. Ultimately the victim is told after the process is complete, a camera crew would arrive and award them their winnings.

Publishers Clearing House and the Federal Trade Commission have both gotten many reports about those wanting to scam you using the Publishers Clearing House name to deceive people.

Scammers call, claiming that you have won the sweepstakes but to collect your prize you need to send money to pay for so-called fees and taxes.

If you are asked to pay to collect a prize, know that it is a scam. In every case or situation, scammers ask you to send money by Western Union, MoneyGram, I-Tunes card, a prepaid debit card or gift card.

And here’s another tip: Publisher’s Clearing House will not call ahead to say that you have won.

The Alpena County Sheriff’s Office urges citizens to use caution when dealing with any situation involving on-line purchases, online offers, unsolicited telephone calls, mail or letters asking for or offering any amounts of money, where the transaction does not seem legitimate or seems to good to be true.

Check out Publishers Clearing House’s fraud protection page, and learn more from the FTC about prize scams.

Anyone with questions, concerns or who has suffered financial loss due to fraud or scams are encouraged to call their local law enforcement agency or call the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office at (989) 354-9830

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