Whitesburg KY

Police warn of scam targeting the elderly

The Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard is warning citizens about a phone scam targeting area elderly residents in which someone claims to be a representative from Publishers Clearing House. In this scam, the caller tells the victims that before they can claim their prize they must pay a large amount of money toward a “Green Dot MoneyPak” re-loadable debit card.

Green Dot MoneyPak cards, which are sold in stores across the United States, are debit cards normally used to make sameday payments or add money to prepaid cards or PayPal accounts. The KSP warns that operators of scams are using these cards to help them cheat customers in a similar way they have used Western Union wire transfers to defraud people in previous years.

The vast majority of these phone calls originate from Nigeria or Jamaica, making it impossible for U.S. law enforcement to track down and prosecute the offenders.

The KSP reminds citizens to beware of scams. In this instance:

• If you don’t participate in the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes then you can’t win.

• If you do enter the Publishers Clearing House drawings, Publishers Clearing House will not call you to let you know you’ve won. They will just show up at your front door with a check.

• A legitimate sweepstakes will never ask you to send money to claim a prize or to pay upfront taxes on your prize.

• Be suspicious of junk mail solicitations

• Hang up on persistent or threatening callers immediately and notify the Kentucky State Police.

• If you have lost money report it at once to the Kentucky State Police. Once you have fallen victim it is highly likely you will be targeted again in the future.

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