Sheriff Grady Judd warns Polk County residents about two recent scams investigated by PCSO Fraud detectives.
One scam involves victims receiving telephone calls from unknown male callers identifying themselves as "Publisher's Clearinghouse" employees. The suspects tell the victims that they, the victims, have won the Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes, but that in order to claim the prize, the victims must send money to a certain location out of state. The suspects are very pushy and demanding. In one case, a victim agreed to wire the money, and when the victim realized this was a scam and notified PCSO, the wire was traced to an apartment complex in Chicago, Illinois. When PCSO detectives notified Chicago Police, however, the suspect was not found.
Another scam involves email. Victims are receiving email from "firstname.lastname@example.org" informing them they have packages containing new ATM cards, but in order to retrieve the packages, the victims must wire $98.00 to Lagos-Nigeria.
Sheriff Judd reminds residents, "Never, ever wire money to a stranger. The only person you should ever send money to is a trusted friend or family member. Additionally, legitimate contests and sweepstakes will never ask you to pay them money in order for you to claim a prize. Report any suspicious activity like these two scams mentioned above to your local law enforcement agency."