Another scam has recently begun to surface in southeastern Indiana and could very well be occurring statewide, according to a Nixle message from the Indiana State Police.
A person receives a phone call advising that he or she has placed second or third in the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes and has won hundreds of thousands of dollars. The person is asked to wire money via Western Union to cover taxes and processing fees.
“If you receive a call such as this, ask yourself this question, ‘Did I enter the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes?’ If you didn’t enter or send anything in, how could you be a winner? If you did enter, check the phone number from which you received the call, particularly the area code.”
Visit http://www.bennetyee.org/ucsd-pages/area.html to get a listing of area codes. The most recent calls in southeastern Indiana originated from area code 876, a Jamaican one. If the code is from outside the U.S., beware.
The actual Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes winners are never contacted by phone, and they do not have to pay any money up front to receive their cash prize. “It is important to remember, if you fall for one of these scams and send money to some location within the U.S, it’s nearly impossible for U.S. law enforcement to recover the money and locate the scammers.”