Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)

Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

If you receive a telephone call from Publishers Clearing House asking for money to receive a prize, it’s most definitely a scam.

Salmon Arm RCMP are warning the public that local residents have been receiving calls from someone claiming to represent the magazine subscription marketing company. The caller explains that a car and “sizable amount of money” have been won. In order to claim them, however, the caller states a $500 fee is required to cover deliver costs.

“Remember,there are no prize fees or taxes in Canada; if you’ve won, it is free!,” explained Staff Sgt. Scott West in a news release.

West said the fraudster making the calls asks that money be paid to an account number, complete with transit number. They might also thank the “winner” for bill payments to accounts the call’s recipient may hold. West said it is unknown at this time how the scammer may have acquired that information. However, he stressed, “Do not initiate a transfer of funds. It is a scam!”

Read more: RCMP warn of fake gold scam in southeastern B.C.

Read more: Kelowna RCMP warn public as gift card scam season comes

On its website, Publishers Clearing House states winners of major prizes are notified “live and in person,” while winners of lesser prizes are notified through an express carrier service and by email.

West compared the Publishers Clearing House scam to the Canadian Revenue Agency scam calls that are prolific around this time. He offered the following tips on how to respond:

• Be very wary about unsolicited calls; remember, if it sounds to good to be true, it is;

• Do not give out any personal informing to these callers. No address, social insurance number, birth date, credit or banking information. Don’t even confirm this information;

• Do some research yourself – look online, and call the company that is supposedly giving you this windfall, and call them to confirm.

“Again, be wary because companies have been and continue to be spoofed online and in e-mail,” said West.

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