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Beware of scammers

By: Paula Walter
Assistant Editor

Although there seems to be a barrage of scams of all types that target people of every age, it seems seniors are preyed upon and often find themselves unsuspecting victims. A recent phone call from a fellow Johnson Countian revealed another new scam has surfaced, this one from someone posing as a representative from Publishers Clearing House.
According to the report, a man with a strong accent called a residence in Johnson County claiming to be a representative from Publishers Clearing House. “You have just won $350,000 in our latest contest,” he stated. The woman receiving the call informed the caller she had not entered the contest. The man was quick to answer that even if she hadn’t entered directly, she may have filled out a form at CVS or Wal-Mart. He also named other large chain stores. He then proceeded to ask if she had received her winning notice in the mail. Despite her response that she had not received her notification, the caller assured her that the notice was on the way. He then asked when she would be home as the check would be delivered in person, advising her it would be possible she could receive her money in the next few days. “You certainly did win,” he assured her. “They will be there.”
At this point, the caller began to ask for financial information. The telephone line was not clear, but the caller began to ask for personal information and Social Security number. As soon as the woman said, “This sounds like a scam,” the caller immediately hung up.
According to a recent press report from the Johnson County’s Sheriff’s Department, there is another scam that is making its way throughout the county. Johnson Countians are receiving phone calls and are notified they have won money or a vehicle. The callers are identifying themselves as representatives from Magic Jack and they will ask their victims to purchase Green Dot cards in order to pick up their prizes. These cards are available at various locations and work in the same manner as a bank debit card. Once the card is purchased, the victims are told to call back to give the Magic Jack caller numbers located on the back of the Green Dot card. At that point, the callers are able to collect the money spent on purchasing these cards. There are no prizes, cash or otherwise. It is yet another scam created by those attempting to prey on people.
Scammers are creative and are constantly coming up with new schemes all the time. Do not give out any personal or financial information to anyone you do not know. Do not share your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card information with anyone who either calls you or contact you through an email. Avoid responding to emails that ask you to transfer money into your personal bank account or send money out of the country. Make sure to guard your information closely at all times to avoid becoming a victim.