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    Beware of Jamaican Based Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes

    District Attorney Pete Weir is warning consumers to beware of callers who claim to be notifying them that they have won a prize from the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.

    The District Attorney’s Fraud Hotline received a call from a citizen reporting that she had received a call from someone telling her that she’d won $1.3M from the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. The citizen became suspicious when she saw on her caller ID that the call was from a cell phone and an 876 area code. Calls from 876 exchanges are from Jamaica and are not toll free.

    “When this astute consumer received this call, she quickly called our Fraud Hotline to find out if this might be a scam,” said District Attorney Pete Weir, “The caller would likely have asked for her personal or financial information, or ask that she send money for “taxes”, in order to receive the prize. Fortunately, she hung up on the call before giving out any personal or financial information.”

    The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes is a direct marketing company which operates in the US. There is no Jamaican base for the company. While the Publishers Clearing House has begun its giveaway period, they notify winners by mail.

    Consider these tips regarding Jamaican-based Publishers Clearing House scams:

    • Beware of any unsolicited call that may come from the Jamaican area code of 876 and includes an offer that sounds too good to be true. Hang up the phone.
    • Never send or wire money to claim a prize. If you are asked to send money to receive money, the operation is a scam. The Publishers Clearing House never asks for money to be sent in order to claim a prize.
    • At Publishers Clearing House their major prizes of $10,000 or more are awarded in person, unannounced or through notice in a certified letter. They DO NOT call winners ahead of time.

    Consumers should always be suspicious about telephone or email notification that they have won a prize. Never send money to anyone in order to claim or receive a prize. When in doubt, call the District Attorney’s Hotline 303-271-6980 or your local police department.

    Pam Russell
    DA Public Information

    March 5, 2014

    Last Updated: 3-5-2014
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