Police: Beware the ‘Publishers Clearing House’ Scam — They’re Taking, Not Giving Money

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Here’s how a certain scam works that’s been offered to people in Darien, as described by a town police announcement on Thursday. Remember, you can’t lose if you don’t play:

The Darien Police Department would like to inform the public about a mail-scam that has been occurring in town. The potential victim is sent what appears to be documentation that they have won a substantial amount of money in the “Publishers Clearing House” sweepstakes. A check is included, and the recipient is instructed to contact the “claim manager” prior to cashing the check and warned not to contact anyone in regards to the prize. The amount the check is made out for is substantially higher than the amount the recipients are supposed to have won.

FTC lotteries sweepstakes scams

How the ‘You’ve Won Our Sweepstakes!’ Scam Works

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You get a card, call, or email telling you that you won! Maybe it’s a lottery, sweepstakes, or some other prize. The person calling is excited and can’t wait for you to get your winnings. But here’s what happens next: they tell you there’s a fee, some taxes, or customs duties to pay. They ask for your bank account information, or ask you to send money via a wire transfer or to purchase gift cards and provide the card numbers.


Elderly Darien Man Victim of ‘You’re a Winner’ Telephone Scam

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An elderly Darien man, 87, wired $110 to a scammer who called the man to tell him he’d won $2.5 million in a lottery or contest, but the money was needed to process the payout, Darien police said. Police gave this account of the matter:

On Monday, Feb. 8, the Darien man got the phone call from a man who identified himself as “Daniel White.” The victim didn’t remember what the caller told him he’d done to win the money, but wrote down the instructions he was given to wire the money: Essentially, go to Walmart in Norwalk and wire the money to a “Charlotte Broughton” at another Walmart store in Texas. The man did so, and when he arrived back home, called his daughter to tell her the good news.