November 9, 2011 —
Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell is warning seniors and all residents of Sullivan County about a phone scam that has been making its way around the county recently. The homeowner receives a call from someone representing themselves as a representative of Publisher’s Clearing House and advises them that they have won a substantial prize. The caller directs the “winner” to a local Wal-Mart where they can purchase a green dot money package or money order, telling victims they must first wire and pay taxes or other fees out of the advance check, before they can claim the rest of the prize.
District Attorney Farrell says: “Don’t believe it! At any legitimate sweepstakes company, the winning is always free and a winner need not send any money whatsoever.” Farrell says the rule of thumb is: “If you are asked to send or wire money in any manner in order to claim a prize, you are being scammed. Hang up on the caller, record their phone number if you have caller ID and refer them to your local law enforcement.”