“Holiday scams are in full swing and scammers are ready to take your money over the holidays,” warns Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald.
While the well-known Internal Revenue Service scam may have slowed down, scammers have once again shifted into high gear, pretending to be spreading holiday cheer from Publishers Clearing House right before Christmas. Con artists use this time of year as an opportunity to trick people into thinking they have won several thousand dollars a week for life from Publishers Clearing House.
Sheriff McDonald advises that many Henderson County residents have been receiving phone calls from someone claiming they are winners in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.
The caller will tell the supposed winner they need to pay a sum of money in order to receive the “grand prize.”
The “winner” is told to send the pre-paid taxes or fee through a Western Union wire transfer or a green dot card from Wal-Mart. “This is a scam,” warns Sheriff McDonald. “Don’t become a victim and never give out your name, your personal information or your bank account information.”
Below are some tips directly from Publishers Clearing House addressing the latest scam that may come from social media, phone calls or even the U.S. mail (http://blog.pch.com/blog/2014/02/25/beware-of-publishers-clearing-house-scams/):
1. If someone contacts you claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, and tells you that you’ve won a prize award – then asks you to send a payment or money card in order to claim the prize – STOP! You have not heard from the real Publishers Clearing House. IT’S A SCAM! At Publishers Clearing House the winning is always free and you NEVER have to pay to claim a prize award.
2. If you receive an email notifying you that you have won a major prize in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, DON’T BE FOOLED: IT’S A SCAM! Publishers Clearing House does NOT send e-mails notifying consumers that they have won a major prize. If you win a major prize in our sweepstakes (like our February 28th SuperPrize), you’ll know when the Prize Patrol shows up at your door with the Big Check.
3. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House and are asked to send money, pay a fee or pre-pay taxes to enter, collect or claim a sweepstakes prize, DON’T BE FOOLED: IT’S A SCAM! You have not heard from the “real” Publishers Clearing House. The call you received was most likely from a fraudulent sweepstakes scam operation. Again, at Publishers Clearing House the winning is always free.
4. If someone from Publishers Clearing House sends you a friend request on Facebook, DON’T BE FOOLED: IT’S A SCAM! The Prize Patrol will NEVER send friend requests to you on Facebook. Moreover, the PCH Prize Patrol members (Danielle Lam, Dave Sayer, and Todd Sloane) never send private messages on Facebook. In addition, Publishers Clearing House does not notify its winners through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media website.