Sweepstakes scam nearly cost elderly Georgia man

An elderly Bogart, Ga. man nearly lost money to a scammer pretending to represent Publisher’s Clearing House, but his sons put an end to it before the scam could escalate, according to an Oconee County sheriff’s report.

 

The scam was discovered Nov. 27 when one son, who was planning to take his 82-year-old father’s money deposits to a bank, told an officer he found a check made out to his father for $3,725.

The son called the bank and was told the account on the check did not exist, deputies said.

The father explained to the son that he was earlier contacted by phone by a person who said he was with Publisher’s Clearing House and that he had won a 2017 BMW along with a $2.9 million prize. The caller said he was sending him a check for $3,725 and that he needed to deposit the check, withdraw $500, go to Walmart and transfer this money to him.

The man’s other son called the number provided by the con artist. A man with a strong foreign accent answered and became irate when the son told him to stop trying to scam his father, according to the report.

Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission released a statement warning about this scam.

“Publishers Clearing House and the FTC have both gotten many reports about scammers using the Publishers Clearing House name to deceive people. Scammers call, claiming you’ve won the sweepstakes – but, to collect your prize, you need to send money to pay for so-called fees and taxes,” the statement reads.

“Paying to collect a prize is a scam. Every time. And scammers like to ask you to send money by Western Union or MoneyGram, or by getting a prepaid card or gift card” because the money cannot be traced, the FTC said.

 

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