Criminals are finding newways to scam people. We spokewith one woman who said she received a phone call last week from PublishersClearing House. The man on the phone said she was a winner, but thatshe needed to load money on a prepaid debit card first. She knew it was a scam,so now she is speaking out to warn others.
"It'sa shame. It's a shame and honestly, me, I cannot see how anybody would fallfor it," Tonya Scott says.
Lastweek, Scott got a phone call from a man who told her she had won $2.5million dollars and a brand new Mercedes. She says the man told her he workedfor Publishers Clearing House, and all she had to do to get her winnings waspay her taxes first. But Scott says she knew something wasn't right.
"Forone, I haven't played the Publishers Clearing House, but when he said it, I justwent with it because I wanted to see how far with it he would go," she says.
Scottsays the caller told her to go to CVS, buy a GreenDot MoneyPak card, and put $199 on it. After she did that, the man told her to call him back withthe GreenDot card number. But instead of doing that, Scott called the police.
"Buthe actually called me back that evening asking him why I hadn't contacted thecompany to give the GreenDot card, so I could keep the winnings. At that point,I let him know that I felt it was a sham," she says.
Scottgave us the scammer's number, so we gave them a call. As it turns out, I wasalso a Publishers Clearing House winner. And the man also asked me to put moneyon a GreenDot card.
I said, "I'man investigative reporter and I want to know why you guys are scammingpeople."
The man said, "okaythen, if you're not going to pay any money, get the **** off my phone."
I replied, "isthat how the Publishers Clearing House is supposed to speak to people?"
He said, "weare talking to you. You call back this number I'm going to report you, so getoff my ******* phone here. And **** you."
Accordingto Publishers Clearing House, you never have to pay to claim a prize andwinners are notified live and in person. In fact,the company is aware of this scam.
Now, Scott is just trying to get the messageout to others, before they send money to the scammers.
"Whensomeone promises you winnings, you don't pay out of your pocket for anything,at all," she says.
Accordingto a Richmond County Sheriff's Office incident report, an 83-year-old Augusta woman fell for thisscam. Over the course of about a month, the report says she gave $14,000 dollars to thescammers, but she never received her winnings.
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