The Examiner has been made aware of a phone scammer contacting area residents.
A 90-year-old woman was contacted by a person claiming to be from Publisher's Clearing House and telling her she won $7,000 a week for life. All she had to do, according to the scammer, was purchase a $500 gift card from Walgreens and call him back from the parking lot.
"At PCH the winning is always free and you NEVER have to pay to claim a prize," according to the organization's website. "Recognizing the difference between legitimate sweepstakes and other types of offers that may not be legitimate will help you protect yourself and your family.
"If someone contacts you claiming to be from PCH, and tells you that you’ve won a prize– then asks you to send a payment or money card in order to claim the prize – STOP! You have not heard from the real PCH."
Telephone scammers try to steal money or personal information. Scams may come through phone calls from real people, robocalls or text messages. The callers often make false promises, such as opportunities to buy products, invest your money or receive free product trials. They may also offer you money through free grants and lotteries. Some scammers may call with threats of jail or lawsuits if you don’t pay them.
It's important to report phone scams to federal agencies. They can’t investigate individual cases, but reports can help them collect evidence for lawsuits against scammers.
Report telephone scams online to the Federal Trade Commission. You can also call 1-877-382-4357. The FTC is the primary government agency that collects scam complaints.
Report caller ID spoofing to the Federal Communications Commission either online or by phone at 1-888-225-5322.