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Bladen County beware of check and prize imposters

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There are Publishers Clearing House scammers hoping to trick local residents, warns Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy, W. M. (Mac) Warner, III. The trick is an old, but reliable way to con people according to the press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

The scam starts with a call or letter saying you have won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. To collect your prize, you are requested to send money to pay for fees and taxes. Sometimes the con artists ask for money to be sent by Western Union or Money Gram, or by getting a reloadable card.

“Scammers ask you to pay these ways because it is nearly impossible to trace the money, and you’ll almost never get it back,” reports Chief Deputy Warner.

However, at other times the scammers will send you a realistic-looking fake check in the mail. If you deposit the check, the check bounces, but not before you are asked to send scammers the money for “expenses”.

If you think you have won a prize, the Sheriff’s Office has some tips for you.

1. Never send money to collect a prize. Never send money to accept a check for winnings. Never send money to accept lottery winnings.

2. Never deposit a check and send money back to the sender.

3. If anyone calls asking you to pay for a prize, hang up and report it to the FTC.

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