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Fake Publisher's Clearing House Scam Leads to $1600 Charge on Muskego Woman's Credit Card

Thinking she had won more than $2 million, woman soon loses money in a scam made to look like a Publisher's Clearing House winner's letter.

The congratulations were enthusiastic in a letter sent to an 82-year-old Muskego resident, stating that she had won $2.6 million dollars in the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes.

Except it really wasn't Publisher's Clearing House, and not long after, the woman had an unauthorized charge on her credit card.

The woman's daughter contacted police earlier this month after she worried that her mother's identity had been stolen through the scam. The letter she received stated that she had won the $2.6 million, but "we highly recommend a 72-hour response" in order to collect. A phone number was given to contact them, 845-635-0864 within the 72 hours.

During the phone conversation, the male customer service rep asked for personal information, like the woman's social security number and credit card numbers. A "processing and insurance check" of $2500 was also requested to be sent to an address in Michigan.

While Muskego police were able to assist the woman to stop payment on the check, the credit information she gave out led to a $1600 charge made at a hotel in Canada.

While the investigation is ongoing, police are reminding residents that you should always be wary of contest 'prizes' that you didn't enter, and you should never have to pay fees first to collect prize awards, at least the legitimate ones.

Desiree Marie Salerno-Luberto October 24, 2012 at 02:06 AM
My 76 yr old mom got this same letter in the mail. Same scenario. She too gave out all of her info. As # bank act Abd credit card # s and expiration dates. The guy spoke with a Jamaican accent Abd the stamp was from Canada. When I got on the phone once I found out what she had done and started interrogating him he got nasty and told me they had to pay off her credit cards first as they couldn't mail out a check in the amount of 2.6 million.they dudnt ask her for any money but said to wait a few days and see the cards were paid off when I asked him to prove to me who he was and this wasn't a scam. He got nasty on the phone. I received an email that they tried getting into one of her credit cards online. Fortunately she has no available balances . She did however have to change her bank act. They also asked her for her DOB and ss#. The letter also required a 72 hour response. When I tried calling back the 2 phone #s on the letter after I interrogated the man one was disconnected and the other was some weird voicemail. Not publishers clearing house. I read other articles that saud they call from Jamaica. This guy was Jamaican and had very bad reception. The publishers clearing house logo was on the printed letter but there was no return address. Please beware of these scammers.
Denise Konkol (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Thanks for sharing....and just recently I got a chain letter/pyramid scheme letter. I haven't seen one of those in years. Desperate times! Please feel free to take these letters to MPD if you're ever not sure.

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