Bismarck Police are warning residents to be aware of a telephone sweepstakes scam where callers are pretending to be representatives from Publishers Clearing House. The scammers are telling the victims that they have won a large amount of money and a car. In order to claim their “prize”, the victims are instructed to wire payment for taxes on the winnings, often to foreign destinations. They are directed to obtain pre-paid money cards or send Western Union or MoneyGram payments.
The Publishers Clearing House website states that they will, “NEVER ask you to send money to enter a sweepstakes, claim a prize, or to pay a fee, tax or deposit. If someone contacts you about winning a prize and requests that you send money back in return for any reason – STOP – you have not heard from the real Publishers Clearing House. There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back.”
If you believe you are the victim of a scam using the Publishers Clearing House name, please contact their fraud division at 1-800-392-4190. Consumers are also advised to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at www.ag.nd.gov or 1-800-472-2600.