Beware of Publisher's Clearinghouse scam
The Haywood County Sheriff's Office is warning the public of a scam that is occurring locally.
The scenario goes something like this: Victims are called and told they won money, a new car or another prize through Publisher's Clearinghouse or similar sweepstakes. The victims are instructed to send either cash or pre-paid debit cards from CVS or WalMart to a specific address, often an address in New York.
Victims are informed that once payments are received, their winnings will be forwarded to them immediately.
The caller identifies himself and tells the person he will follow up with a call to the IRS to validate the claim as far as taxes and "state to state" transfer of monies is concerned. The caller will ask for the card numbers of pre-paid debit cards once they've been purchased. The caller then takes the number, makes an identical card and gains immediate access to the money with no hope of restitution to the victim.
The promised prizes are never delivered. Investigations show the calls and frauds are originating in other countries. The sheriff says anyone who receives such calls should not engage the caller in any way.