Woman nearly loses $400 to Publisher's Clearing House impostor
WESTWEGO - As the holiday season begins, scammers are using their creativity to come up with new ways of conning innocent people out of money.
WWL-TV reports that a number of con artists have been posing as representatives of Publisher's Clearing House (PCH).
A woman in Westwego told WWL she was targeted by this sort of scam and nearly lost $400.
The PCH imposter called the woman and told her she'd been selected to win thousands of dollars and a new car.
The woman said, “I was going to get this red Mercedes and going to get $250,000 every week for life. All that sounds good, but I knew that had to be a scam. Who is going to give me that kind of money?”
But the imposter was persistent, calling the woman several times and asking her to send $400 to process her prize.
When she admitted she didn't have that kind of money, their reply was, “Oh don't worry, we'll send you a check for $600.”
A couple of days later, a $600 check with her name on it arrived in the mail. She took the money to the bank, prepared to deposit it. But before doing so, she asked the bank to verify the account the check came from and was told the account had a balance of zero.
At this point, the woman called the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Louisiana (BBSL) to check on the legitimacy of the company that sent the check.
Cynthia Albert with BBSL told reporters this was the right move, saying, “She changed her mind about it, thank goodness because she would have lost her money.”
Albert explained she’s been fielding an increasing number of calls related to PCH scammers.
The real PCH is also taking measures to protect consumers.
Their website offers suggestions to help consumers differentiate between the real PCH and a potential scam.
Some of those tips include :
-Remember there is no purchase necessary to enter or win a sweepstakes
-Never provide your credit card or checking account numbers to collect a prize
-Beware if you are asked to travel or make a phone call to claim a prize
For information related scams in the Baton Rouge area, click here to access the Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana’s website.