Victim of Scam Loses Over $70,000

  • Community   Thursday, March 16, 2023   

On Wednesday, March 15, 2023 the Stratford Police Service received a report of an individual falling victim to a Publisher’s Clearing House scam. 

The initial report came to police by way of a family member of the victim who approached an officer and expressed concerns regarding the incident. 

The officer attended the victim’s residence in the Town of St Marys and learned that on January 27, 2023, the victim received a phone call and was advised that he had been randomly selected as a prize winner for Publisher’s Clearing House, winning over $5,000,000 and a new Mercedes. 

The victim was directed to send funds through e-transfer to various individuals to cover the taxes for both the United States and Canada. Since that date, repeated communication was held between the victim and several individuals who identified themselves as employees with Publisher’s Clearing House, with the victim sending over 25 e-transfers, for a total of $73,000. 

The Publisher’s Clearing House Scam is a great example of a Sweepstakes or Lottery Scam. In these types of scams fraudsters will contact potential victims to tell them they have won a prize. The victims are then told they need to pre-pay taxes, or administrative fees in order to claim their winnings. 

Please be aware of these types of scams and learn how to protect yourself. Here are a few tips: If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is! If you have not entered a contest, you cannot be a winner. You will never be asked to pay money in advance of receiving a prize. Don’t let fraudsters pressure you to make a decision, take your time by hanging up the phone and doing some research on what is being offered. Most importantly, share this information with others. By creating awareness, we can all play a part in fraud prevention!