TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Last week the FBI released an alert about a growing scam; crooks calling consumers with the exciting news that they have won big prizes in a national sweepstakes.
Of course the calls are frauds and they are tricking victims into sending thousands of dollars to pay non-existent expenses. It's one of the oldest scams. "Congratulations! You have won a million dollars in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes!"
The FBI has just sounded the alarm because this scam is suddenly increasing all over North America.
An Adrian woman fell for the lie and sent thousands of dollars to pay taxes and expenses to get her money and a new Mercedes.
We had a call from a local Toledo man who sent $4,000 to Canada thinking it was Publishers Clearing House. The money was lost.
The rule is simple. Real sweepstakes never ask for money in advance. They withhold taxes and send you the rest.
If you are told you have won Publishers Clearing House or the Readers Digest Sweepstakes but you must send them money, STOP!
They are very convincing, but you didn't win anything. Any money you send to claim your prize will be gone forever!
If you have any questions about scams, businesses or their reputations Call the Better Business bureau at 419-531-3116.