Local residents fall victim to Publishers Clearing House impersonator scam

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX)- The local chapter of the Better Business Bureau says residents in the Bryan-College Station area are falling for a scam involving a Publishers Clearing House impersonator.

"We received a report on Friday from a man who said his mom, a Bryan resident, fell victim to this scam," said Bill McGuire.

"She sent $500, and was then asked to send an additional $900," said McGuire.

"She didn't have the full amount, but she tried to give as much as possible. When she went back to the store to send the money, she found herself standing next to a lady doing the same thing. That's when they both realized they were being scammed."

The victims said they would be filing a report with local police.

Here's How The Scam Works:
Consumers report receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be associated with Publishers Clearing House. This person tells them that they’ve won a big prize, but in order to claim it, they need to pay a fee upfront.

All of the consumers indicate that in order to receive their prize they would need to send $200 or more for things, like processing, taxes, or insurance. The alleged company would request the money via a cash card or money order.

What You Should Do If You Receive This Call
The best thing to do when you are dealing with this type of phone call is to hang up immediately. Never wire money to strangers and don’t hesitate to report the incident. This way, more people will find out about it and avoid the scam.

PCH sweepstakes are free to enter and you will never be required to pay any fees associated with winning.

You should also remember that PCH will never contact you in advance.

PCH likes to surprise their winners, so you will not be contacted by their staff via phone, email or social media. You can also visit the PCH website for more information.

Another tip: Don't accept friend requests on social media from someone claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House.

If you think you’ve been victimized by this scam, contact your BBB and local authorities immediately. Also, in order to stay informed about other scams happening in your area, go to bbb.org/scamtracker!