Publishers Clearing House scam targeting Southwest Florida citizens

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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. – Scammers are targeting Southwest Florida residents by claiming they are the big winners of Publishers Clearing House.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is informing citizens to be weary of a recent telephone scam that several people have already fallen victim to.

The scam involved a phone call from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. They will say that the individual has won millions of dollars, but to receive the prize, they first must purchase gift cards and iPhones that then get shipped to a particular address.

At least one Charlotte County resident lost a significant amount of money to the scam.

In a statement from Publishers Clearing House, they say, “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.”

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has offered these tips to help protect you and your family from a potential scam.

Never Answer Calls from Unknown NumbersNever Divulge Personal InformationBe Suspicious of Callers Claiming You’ve Won – But Ask You to Send MoneyIf an Offer Sounds Too Good to be True, Think Twice — It Usually is!Call the Company Back to Verify the Number and Identity of Employee

If you feel you have been the victim of a scam, you can contact the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office by calling 941-639-2101. You can also report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission by CLICKING HERE.

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