The Regina Police Service would like to caution the public about a version of a scam that uses the “You’ve Won a Prize Theme” in order to dupe victims into sending money. In recent weeks, the Regina Police Service has received numerous reports from people who received letters that appeared to be from Publishers Clearing House. (Fortunately, they contacted police before sending any money.) The real Publishers Clearing House is a direct-marketing company that sells merchandise and magazine subscriptions and operates prize-based game, search and lotto websites.
The letter, which is not from the real Publishers Clearing House, advises the recipient that he or she has won a large sum of money. The letter goes on to name a “Representative” and gives a phone number and security code in an attempt to add legitimacy to the scam. Though the letter doesn’t initially ask for money, once the recipient makes the phone call, then the company representative asks for “service fees” to cover the costs associated with releasing the money. Please be advised that this is a known scam method. Publishers Clearing House does not (according to their website) advise their winners by email, a telephone call or a bulk mail letter. The prizes over $500 or more will be awarded by “either certified or express letter or in person by our famous Prize Patrol at our option”.
Regina residents are also strongly cautioned about using money transfer services when sending money to a stranger. The jeopardy is this: the money can be paid instantly at the receiving end and it cannot be recovered when complete.