“You’ve Won A Big Prize!” Scam Hits Metro East
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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) - File this under “If is seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Madison County sheriff’s officials say a local homeowner received a letter in the mail this week claiming to be from the well-known prize giving organization Publishers Clearing House.
The letter informed the recipient that they had just won $650,000 in cash.
It further instructed them to contact Publishers Clearing House at a phone number provided.
Upon calling the number, the recipient was told to mail a check for around $5,000 to “cover insurance for this prize”.
It was, of course, a scam trying to play off hopes that someone had won a big prize worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and would be willing to pay a few thousand of their own money to claim it.
Madison County sheriff’s official warn residents to safeguard their finances and avoid being duped.
They recommend the following:
* Don’t readily accept a promise of large sums of money, but only IF you cooperate and give them something first.
* Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements in usable form.
* Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless YOU initiate the call.
* Reconcile your bank account monthly and notify your bank of discrepancies.
* Keep a list of telephone numbers to call to report the loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
* Review a copy of your credit report at least once a year.