Cst. Markus Anastasiades, Public Information and Communications Officer, Saanich Police
A Saanich resident is out thousands of dollars after a scam involving Publishers Clearing House.
In January the victim was contacted by phone advising that they had won a prize of $75,000 through the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. They were then requested to send money to them to cover the costs of taxes and legal fees, after which the prize money would then be sent to them. Over the following few weeks, an individual attended the victim’s home and collected money in excess of $26,000. When the victim realized the prize money had yet to show up, they became suspicious and reported it to the police.
While this scam is not a new one, these types of “Prize” frauds have resulted in the loss of over $3.7 million last year in Canada alone. (Source: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre)
We are reminding the public of the following:
- Never send money to collect a prize. If they ask you to pay, it’s a scam.
- Never deposit a cheque and then send money back, even if the funds appear in your account. This is a clear sign of a scam.
- Never provide your personal banking information to anyone over the phone. If they ask, it’s a scam.
- Always report scams and frauds to the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- Spread the word and educate family, friends, neighbours and co-workers on these scams. Your actions might prevent someone else from becoming a victim.
Image credit: Image by Judith E Bell, Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).