The Franklin Borough Police Department is advising residents to be aware of phone and mail scams that tell the victims they won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.
Several residents recently have reported receiving a phone call or letter stating that they’ve won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, but in order to collect the prize, are directed to send money to pay for fees and taxes. These types of scams typically direct the victim to send money by Western Union or MoneyGram, or by getting a reloadable card or gift card, police said.
Scammers have also been known to send a realistic-looking check in the mail, which is ultimately found to be fraudulent. Victims are told that in order to claim their prize, they need to deposit the check and send a portion of the money back for miscellaneous expenses. This results in the victim being responsible for the money that is sent after the check is inevitably returned for insufficient funds, police said.
Police say if you think you’ve won a prize, here are a few things to know:
- Never send money to collect a prize, sweepstakes check, or lottery winnings.
- If you have to pay, it’s a scam.
- Never deposit a check and send back money, even if the funds appear in your account. That’s a sure sign of a scam.
The real Publishers Clearing House says it will never ask you to pay a fee to collect a prize. For more information, visit the Publishers Clearing House’s fraud protection page by clicking here.
The Franklin Borough Police Department reminds residents to be on the lookout for similar scams and to not give out personal identifiers over the phone.