The Indiana State Police is warning folks about a scam which has already
cost a Dunelander thousands of dollars.
It works like this: someone purporting to represent the Publisher’s
Clearinghouse Sweepstakes calls you, says you’ve won hundreds of thousands
of dollars in the Sweepstakes, and then instructs you to wire money via
Western Union to cover taxes and processing fees.
Don’t fall for this one, the ISP says.
“If you receive a call such as this, ask yourself this question: ‘Did I
enter the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes?’” the ISP recommends. “If
you didn’t enter or send anything in, how could you be a winner? If you did
enter, check the phone number from which you received the call, particularly
the area code.”
Most recently, calls being made to potential victims in Southeast Indiana
are originating from area code 876 in Jamaica. If the area code is from
outside the U.S., beware.
“The actual Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes winners are never
contacted by phone and they do not have to pay any money up front to receive
their cash prize,” the ISP notes. “It is important to remember that if you
fall for one of these scams and send money to some location not within the
U.S, it’s nearly impossible for U.S. law enforcement to recover the money
and locate the scammers. If the money is sent outside the United States,
there is absolutely nothing U.S. law enforcement can do to help you recover
your loss. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Don’t be a
At least two Dunelanders, according to police reports received by the
Chesterton Tribune, have received calls from Publisher’s Clearinghouse
Sweepstakes scammers. One of them ended up losing $3,725.