Local Police Warn Of Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam Targeting Residents

CRAFTON, Pa. (KDKA) – Local police are warning of a scam they’ve seen targeting their residents recently.

The Crafton Police Department says they’re aware of a recent phone and mail scam that’s going around the area.

The scam pretends to be Publishers Clearing House, claiming victims have won sweepstakes checks.

“Who wouldn’t love to be that winner you see on TV holding a great big sweepstakes check? That’s what con artists are counting on when they claim to be Publishers Clearing House. This trick is an oldie but goodie for scammers,” Crafton Borough Police Department said in a Facebook post.

The scammer will claim you’ve won, but in order to collect your prize, you’ll need to send your money through something like Western Union, MoneyGram or a gift card — all of which make it difficult to trace your money or ever get it back.

Sometimes, police say, you’ll get a realistic-looking check in the mail. The scammers will say you need to deposit the money into the bank then send some back to make up for fake expenses. When you deposit the check, though, it bounces.

One of the ways you can protect yourself from this scam is by never sending money for any prize.

For more information about the scam, police say you can visit Publishers Clearing House’s fraud protection page.