Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Area Resident Loses Thousands in Prize Pitch Scam


opp logo270Grey County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) urge residents to beware of the “prize pitch” scam after a Township of Georgian Bluffs resident lost thousands of dollars in a Publisher’s Clearing House scam.

On January 4, the victim received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Publisher’s Clearing House stating he had won $120,000 in cash, a 2017 Mercedes vehicle and free gas for a year from Texaco. In order to claim the prize, the victim was instructed to send money for fees and processing to an address in Port Washington, New York, and Newport, Virginia. The victim sent three separate money transfers over three days totalling $6,475.99. After each transaction, the victim was advised to call 1-876-459-9896 and to provide the reference number for the transaction. He had spoken with an unknown female and male on each occasion.

On January 9, the victim realized he had been scammed and contacted police after he had received another call asking for an additional $3,000 as a finalization fee.

Grey County OPP remind residents that the “prize pitch” is one of the most common scams. The prizes could include cash, vehicles, electronics, and trips. The “winner” is asked to pay an advance fee for shipping and or taxes in order to claim the prize.

The thing to remember is, you have to enter a contest in order to win and should you be a winner in a legitimate contest, you won’t be asked to forward money or buy goods to claim your prize.

The Publisher’s Clearing House web site found at http://info.pch.com/consumer-information/fraud-protection, alerts the public against fraudsters pretending to be real PHC employees.

Contact police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) at www.antifraudcentre.ca or toll free 1-888-495-8501 if you believe you are a victim of a fraud.

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