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“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.

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