A 70-year-old Rock Hill woman is out $1,850 after being told she had won $5,000 from Publishers Clearing House, according to a police report.
On Tuesday, the woman told Rock Hill police she had gotten a call the day before from a man saying she had won money from Publishers. The woman told police the man asked her to pay $1,850 in attorney fees to get the prize transferred to her account, the report states.
The woman told police she paid that amount, but then was asked to pay an additional $3,000 to “cover the stamp used to authenticate the prize,” the report states.
The woman told police she informed the man she could not pay that amount.
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The case remains under investigation.
Beware of scams
Residents should be wary of any prizes that require some type of payment, Detective Keith Dugan with the Rock Hill Police Department said at the time of the January incident.
“If they are asking for money, it’s definitely a scam,” he said. “There is nothing you are going to win where they will ask you for money.”
Dugan said even taxes on prizes are typically handled by the IRS and not the prize organization. Foreign accents and the request for gift cards or money wires are also red flags, as many scammers are from overseas, he said.
“Everyone wants to win a prize, but if it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” Dugan said.
The detective said residents should be careful with their personal information and avoid filling out scam claims or other unsecure forms online that could leave them open for identification fraud.
“We don’t know where that data is going,” he said.
If citizens experience a scam or are suspicious, they should notify local law enforcement, Dugan said. While not every incident will result in a police report, he said the department likes to know about them and will follow up when necessary.
“We would like to know what is going on in our community,” Dugan said.