Franklin police are warning the public of a recent phone and mail scam.
Several residents have reported receiving a phone call or letter stating that they’ve won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, but in order to collect the prize, victims are directed to send money to pay for fees and taxes.
"These types of scams typically direct the victim to send money by Western Union or MoneyGram, or by getting a reloadable card or gift card," Franklin police said.
Scammers have also been known to send a realistic-looking check in the mail, which is ultimately found to be fraudulent.
Victims are told that in order to claim their prize, they need to deposit the check and send a portion of the money back for miscellaneous expenses -- which results in the victim being responsible for the money sent after the check is inevitably returned for insufficient funds.
If you think you’ve won a prize, here are a few things to know, Franklin police say:
- Never send money to collect a prize, sweepstakes check, or lottery winnings. If you have to pay, it’s a scam.
- Never deposit a check and send back money, even if the funds appear in your account. That’s a sure sign of a scam.
- The real Publishers Clearing House says it will never ask you to pay a fee to collect a prize.
For more information, visit the Publishers Clearing House’s fraud protection page.
The Franklin Borough Police Department reminds residents to be on the lookout for similar scams and to not give out personal identifiers over the phone.
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