CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes has been around for quite some time.
They’re known to surprise recipients at their homes with large checks, but now, scammers are impersonating workers for PCH and calling older adults.
Sharon and Frank Longoria are 68 and 72 years old. They received a call telling them that they had won $12.5 million from the PCH Sweepstakes.
“Well at first, they said that we won $12.5 million and (that) an odd increment, $500 million, would be in cash," Sharon said. "I (thought) 'That’s odd.'”
She said her husband had entered them into the PCH Sweepstakes, but something about this phone call just did not sit right with her.
The person on the phone said that they needed a registration fee to secure the money and were headed her way.
“The registration fee (was) $258," Sharon said. "We both were expecting dollars, (a) $258,000 check we had to have made out when they came to the door. I said, ‘registration fee? We’re the ones who just won $12.5 million. We just did all of this.'”
Katie Galan, who is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi, said that when you receive suspicious calls, try to remember if you participated.
“So, first thing you need to remember is you must enter to win a prize," Galan said. "It sounds simple enough, but a lot of time people are just randomly notified, and they think, ‘Hey, I was randomly selected to win some sort of prize, and that’s not how it works.”
The Better Business Bureau reminded people to think twice about giving their information to people.
“This is why it's so crucially important to do your research on the front end because once you lose money or your identity is compromised," she said. "It's really difficult to recoup that money, and there is a very minuscule chance you’ll see it again.”
The Better Business Bureau also recommended not answering calls from unknown numbers.
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