Over the last few weeks, many Texomans have been contacted by people claiming to represent the Publishers Clearing House, promising prizes for a price.
"The Publishers Clearing House scam has been hitting our area for several weeks now," said President of the North Central Texas Better Business Bureau Monica Horton.
The most recent case of this con involved a woman from Electra, who was scammed out of close to $7500 over a week's time.
Scammers instruct the consumer to purchase a Green Dot Money Card and call the scammers back with the card number and information. Before you know it you could be out thousands of dollars
Horton said its best to end the conversation with these scammers as soon as possible.
"If there is an inkling that these con artists think that you may participate in this scam, they are going to begin to harass you and call you over and over. So don't carry on a conversation with them, don't lead them to believe that you may fall for it thinking that you're helping investigate," Horton said.
Typically the prizes being promised are millions of dollars and luxury vehicles. Experts say that senior citizens are targeted more with these scams because they are home more often, and easier to reach. But all consumers should watch out for these scams. Publishers Clearing House will never notify you in advance if they plan to stop by to award you a prize. You also can not win a prize that you did not enter a contest for.
But the most important thing to remember is...
"If they are asking for money to collect your prize, its not real, its not from the real PCH, and the consumer should hang up the phone, or rip up the mail," says Chris Irving, the Assistant Vice President of Consumer and Legal Affairs for Publishers Clearing House.
Irving said that most of these scams originate by phone, but the scammers will use any medium necessary to try and earn a quick buck.
If you receive one of these calls, contact your local police department