Sacto 9-1-1
October 2, 2013
Placer sheriff's officials warn scam promising 'Publisher's Clearing House' prize

The Placer County Sheriff's Office is warning residents of scam that has been reported in the area.

Victims receive a call or text message from "Publisher's Clearing House" telling them that they have "just won", according to a Sheriff's Office news release. They are instructed to go to a Walmart or Kmart to purchase two $500 Greendot cards, a prepaid credit card. They are told to then call and provide the Greendot credit card numbers, to be used later as verification.

The caller states that this is how a courier will know he or she is talking to the right "winner".

In reality, sheriff's officials said, once the caller has the Greendot numbers, the caller is able to to transfer the $1,000 to himself. No courier comes, but the victim is marked as an easy target and will receive calls for more money.

The suspect in the scam uses the phone number (876) 575-4199, which has been tracked to Jamaica. Sheriff's officials said a detective who called the number had a less than pleasant conversation with a "John Hill" who is not a representative of Publisher's Clearing House and had some choice words for the detective when confronted with the scam.

Sheriff's officials said it is difficult for Placer County detectives to pursue international cases, and victims of scams such as this typically are not be able to recover their money. They advise people to be careful when doing doing business with anyone they do not know.

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