Sheriff: Don’t fall for sweepstakes scammers

Jackson County authorities are warning about calls and mail from scam artists. Sheriff Rick Meyer says the calls normally intensify in the spring when some residents start to get their income tax returns and have money available.

Meyer said that a common scam technique is callers who claim to be with the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. The scammer will claim you won a prize, but in order to claim it you must first pay taxes or some fees upfront. Or they will mail a fake check, from which you are supposed to pay taxes or legal fees. However the check will bounce and you will be left with money taken from your bank account.

The sheriff said that Publishers Clearing House will never call you to say you are a winner. Instead, you will get an in-person visit from their Prize Patrol. The sweepstakes will never ask you to pay taxes or fees upfront, or to cash a check only to send money back.

If you think you have been targeted by a scammer or been a victim, you should call your local sheriff’s department.