Maryland State Police are warning the public about telephone scams in which the caller claims to be an agent for Publishers Clearing House, stating that the person contacted had “won the grand prize” from Publishers Clearing House, but only after paying a $250 “fee” to cover the cost of taxes.
This scam serves as a reminder that Publishers Clearing House and other sweepstakes do not require upfront fees to cover the cost of winning prizes. Visit the PCH website for further information: https://info.pch.com/tips-and-warning-signs or call their toll free number: 800-392-4190. The Federal Trade Commission also offers information on reporting telephone scams; https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0208-phone-scams 1-877-FTC-HELP.
This most recent case involved people in the Upper Eastern Shore region who reported receiving a telephone call from someone who identified themselves as “Agent John Clark” calling on behalf of Publishers Clearing House, saying the citizen had won the grand prize, but needed to send in $250 first, in the form of a wire transfer, or a loaded gift card, to cover the cost of taxes. This is just one of several telephone scams reported to Maryland State Police.