Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear wants to stress the fact that winners of the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes do not receive phone calls about their prizes.
Consumers in Kentucky are being inundated by imposters attempting to scam them out of their money.
“Our office handles scams every day,” Beshear says. “But what’s frightening about this one is that scammers have taken the identity of one of the best-known sweepstakes in our generation.”
The Attorney General’s Office has received numerous calls over the last week about the validity of the phone calls.
Consumers are reporting these calls from Jamaica (876 area code) as well as other phone numbers in various US states.
Beshear says Kentuckians receiving phone calls from anyone claiming to be Publisher’s Clearing House should hang up immediately.
Beshear’s office also provides the following tips:
- Beware of unsolicited calls that may appear from an “876” area code or “Kingston” identifier on your caller ID. Don’t answer the call.
- Be aware that callers can “spoof” the caller ID to make it appear legitimate. This gimmick allows the scammer to trick the Caller ID display and make any number of their choosing appear on the screen – maybe within your own state or community. This also makes it more difficult for law enforcement to track them down.
- If you answer, get off the phone immediately. These scammers are experts at what they do. Their offer may sound tempting to you in a weak moment. The longer you listen, the more likely you will fall victim. Just hang up.
- If you are asked to send money for any reason to claim a prize, it is a scam.
- If you fall victim and send money, your name and information will likely be added to a “sucker list” and shared with other scammers. Your scam calls may increase as well as your junk mail.
- Tell your friends about any suspicious calls you receive. You could help prevent their being victimized as well.
Kentuckians should report these types of scams to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 and to the Office of the Attorney General at 888-432-9257.