Protect Yourself From Scammers

Charlotte County, FL – August 16, 2022

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office warns citizens of a recent telephone scam that Charlotte County residents have unfortunately fallen victim to.

This scam features a phone call from a person claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House that notifies the person that they have won millions of dollars. However, in order to receive the prize, they must first purchase gift cards and iPhones to then ship to a particular address.

Regrettably, one victim in Charlotte County lost a significant amount of money to this scam.

“A legitimate business will never request payment in the form of a gift card. You should also never give out your personal or banking information. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is,” reminds Sheriff Bill Prummell.

The Publishers Clearing House state that, “If someone contacts you claiming to be from PCH, and tells you that you’ve won a prize– then asks you to send a payment or money card in order to claim the prize – STOP! You have not heard from the real PCH.”

A few tips to protect yourself and your family:

  1. Never Answer Calls from Unknown Numbers
  2. Never Divulge Personal Information
  3. Be Suspicious of Callers Claiming You’ve Won – But Ask You to Send Money
  4. If an Offer Sounds Too Good to be True, Think Twice — It Usually is!
  5. Call the Company Back to Verify the Number and Identity of Employee

If you believe you are the victim of a similar scam, please contact the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office at 941-639-2101. You may also report the scam via the Federal Trade Commission.

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