Sheriff Judd Warns Residents about new Sweepstakes Scam | Crime
Polk County, Florida-- Sheriff Grady Judd warns residents to be aware of a new scam reported to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
The scam fraudulently uses the "Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes" name to victimize the elderly, deputies say.
Here's how the scam works:
The elderly victim receives a call from someone who knows his/her full name, and who tells him/her that they are the lucky winner of the nationally-recognized "Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes." The caller then tells the victim to purchase a Green Dot moneypak* worth several hundred dollars, and to give that money to the suspect.
Officials say the suspect assures the victim that once this transaction takes place, he/she will receive their sizable sweepstakes earnings.
Fortunately, no victims have been physically harmed in this scam, though the suspect did tell the most recent victim the "FBI, police, and Sweepstakes officials would come to his home and drive him to CVS to purchase the moneypak, and then drive him to the bank."
Instead, deputies say, the victim was smart and called PCSO.
They advise that this incident could have turned into a robbery, had the victim complied with the scam artist's demands.
Another victim, an elderly woman, was notified by mail that she was a sweepstakes winner. Between January and May 2012, she purchased approximately $5,000 worth of Moneypaks and provided them over the telephone to the scam artist.
Deputies say that money cannot be recovered.
The MoneyPak website warns:
Use your MoneyPak number only with businesses on our approved list. If anyone else asks for your MoneyPak number or information from your receipt, it’s probably a scam. Don’t give your MoneyPak number to pay for something you buy through the classifieds or to collect a prize or sweepstakes. Do not give away your receipt information to another party either. If you give your MoneyPak number or information about the purchase transaction to a criminal, Green Dot is not responsible for paying you back. Your MoneyPak is not a bank account. The funds are not insured against loss.