The Middle Man: How to avoid a sweepstakes scam - WRBL

Text Description

The Middle Man: How to avoid a sweepstakes scam

Posted: Updated:

A letter arrives claiming you've won a major sweepstakes.  We'll tell you what not do next and how it can save you a fortune.

You've seen the ads. A man shows up at your door with a big check and announces you've won the publishing clearing house sweepstakes.

So imagine one man's delight when he got this letter stating he won…

"It said it was from publisher's clearing house and it showed a sample check for $1.5 million dollars," says the victim who does not want to be identified.

When he received the letter he contacted the name and number and was told he needed to pay thousands of dollars in taxes to collect the winnings.

When the victim said he didn't have the money they had a solution for him. They said prior winners can "sponsor" him and provide payment to meet the necessary payments to get the prize."

The victim unknowingly turned into a middle man for con-artists. He was receiving checks from other people who believed they are paying off taxes on their jackpot.

He then converted them to cash and spent hundreds of dollars sending packages overnight to Canada.

After re-shipping almost $119-thousand dollars the victim got a call from Canadian police who intercepted one of the packages.

Police told him that they don't collect taxes unless you are a Canadian citizen.

"Publishers Clearing House- immediately it was something that was recognizable to him, he heard it before. And you think well, finally I've won something. I've got the American dream that I've seen on TV before. So he was eager to do whatever was necessary to collect that prize," says retired U.S. Postal Inspector Larry Dodson.

The victim in this case says he has learned a valuable lesson by not calling Publishers Clearing House to see if this exists.

Postal Inspectors want to remind consumers no legitimate lottery or so-called contest, like the Publishers Clearing House, will ever ask for fees or taxes to be paid up front.

Sarah Panko

Sarah is the anchor/ producer for News Three First Edition at 5/4 central time. She also brings you the latest Consumer Reports on the Nightwatch at 11/10 central. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WRBL Poll: Georgia governor, senate races remain tight

    WRBL Poll: Georgia governor, senate races remain tight

    Sep 02, 2014 04:41 PM2014-09-02 21:47:57 GMT
    New WRBL News 3 / Ledger-Enquirer / PMB Broadcasting poll carried out by GaPundit.com show Georgia governor and senate race remains neck and neck ahead of November election.New WRBL News 3 / Ledger-Enquirer / PMB Broadcasting poll carried out by GaPundit.com show Georgia governor and senate race remains neck and neck ahead of November election.
    New statewide Georgia poll finds the race between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter for governor - and the race between David Perdue and Michelle Nunn for U.S. Senate - remain highly competitive.
    New statewide Georgia poll finds the race between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter for governor - and the race between David Perdue and Michelle Nunn for U.S. Senate - remain highly competitive.
  • PHOTOS: Phenix City gas station robbed at gunpoint

    PHOTOS: Phenix City gas station robbed at gunpoint

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:23 AM EDT2014-09-02 15:23:31 GMT
    Surveillance image show an armed man robbing a Phenix City gas station early Monday morning.Surveillance image show an armed man robbing a Phenix City gas station early Monday morning.
    Phenix City police release images of a man robbing a gas station at gunpoint early Monday morning.
    Phenix City police release images of a man robbing a gas station at gunpoint early Monday morning.
  • PHOTOS: August 2014 Mugshots

    PHOTOS: August 2014 Mugshots

    Friday, August 15 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-08-15 19:29:55 GMT
    Mugshots from across central Alabama from August 2014.
    Mugshots from across central Alabama from August 2014.
  • Consumer WatchMore>>

  • Columbus gets new Walmarts...with a twist

    Columbus gets new Walmarts...with a twist

    Aug 25, 2014 07:03 PM2014-08-28 22:27:56 GMT
    Three new Walmart's are coming to town, and two of them are not your average Supercenter.Construction is about to be underway at the new Walmart Supercenter on Victory Drive at the site of the old Baker High School. Two new proposals, however, will bring the Walmart Neighborhood Market to Columbus.The Market is like a grocery store, without the clothes, hardware, etc. typical to most Walmart's.See the proposals at www.columbusga.org/planning. You can voice your opinion about the new stores be...
    Three new Walmart's are coming to town, and two of them are not your average Supercenter.Construction is about to be underway at the new Walmart Supercenter on Victory Drive at the site of the old Baker High School. Two new proposals, however, will bring the Walmart Neighborhood Market to Columbus.The Market is like a grocery store, without the clothes, hardware, etc. typical to most Walmart's.See the proposals at www.columbusga.org/planning. You can voice your opinion about the new stores be...
  • Computer security breach at Columbus UPS Store

    Computer security breach at Columbus UPS Store

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:29:51 GMT
    Malware virus found on UPS Store computer in Columbus. Information such as card numbers, postal and email addresses could have been taken.
    Malware virus found on UPS Store computer in Columbus. Information such as card numbers, postal and email addresses could have been taken.
  • Attwood Recalls Kayak and Watersports Storage Hanger

    Attwood Recalls Kayak and Watersports Storage Hanger

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:07:16 GMT
    About 10,000 Kayak and Watersports Storage Hangers are being recalled. Attwood, the company that makes the product says the length adjustment buckles release unexpectedly, causing the item being stored to fall and injure people nearby. No injuries have been reported.Consumers are advised to stop using the product and return it to the store where the item was purchased for a full refund or replacement.Model number 1191...
    About 10,000 Kayak and Watersports Storage Hangers are being recalled. Attwood, the company that makes the product says the length adjustment buckles release unexpectedly, causing the item being stored to fall and injure people nearby. No injuries have been reported.Consumers are advised to stop using the product and return it to the store where the item was purchased for a full refund or replacement.Model number 1191...
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.