The Sheriff’s Office has taken complaints that a telephone scam is taking place in this area and is issuing this alert as a public service.
Some Baxter County residents have been receiving telephone calls from persons claiming to represent either 1) Publisher’s Clearinghouse or 2) The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The persons making these calls are telling area residents they have won a prize, such as an Mercedas or BMW automobile, and want to verify personal information. The caller also attempts to convince the intended victim to transfer several hundred dollars for processing or handling fees in order that the prize can be delivered and awarded. The caller can be very aggressive and insistent.
If you receive a call like this, it is most probably a scam and an attempt to defraud you. If a legitimate business or company is awarding you a “prize”, then you should not be charged any fees to receive or accept delivery of those items, nor should you ever be asked to verify or provide personal information over the phone to a stranger.
As we have reminded citizens in the past, we encourage you not to provide or verify personal information over the phone or by email, including name, address, social security number, birth date, bank account number or credit/debit card number, certainly not unless you can positively verify that you are speaking to a legitimate representative of that business or company. Providing such information to unverified sources can potentially result in loss of funds as well as having your identity stolen or compromised. As many of these “scammers” operate overseas, the likelihood that you can recover any monetary loss after falling victim to one of these scams is remote.
/s/ John F. Montgomery
Baxter County Sheriff