Hutchinson police warn of Publishers Clearing House phone scam

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) Hutchinson police are warning residents about a Publishers Clearing House phone scam.

The scammer is calling or sending a letter saying you've won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. But in order to collect the prize, you'll need to send money for fees and taxes.

"Typically you’ll be asked to send money by Western Union or Money-gram, or by getting a re-loadable card or gift card," police said. "Scammers ask you to pay these ways because it’s nearly impossible to trace the money — and you’ll almost never get it back."

Police say that is not the only way scammers will try to get your money.

Scammers will send a realistic-looking check in the mail. They'll claim you need to deposit the check and send some of the money back for 'expenses.'

As soon as you deposit the check, it bounces even if it seemed to clear — you may be on the hook for the money you sent.

Police say never send money to collect any prize, sweepstakes check, or lottery winnings. If you have to pay, its a scam.

"If anyone calls asking you to pay for a prize, hang up. Do not follow any directions given by the caller to go anywhere such as a bank and call them back. You should also know that numbers that show up on your caller ID are most likely false. It is common for scammers to use other phone numbers, even local numbers, that will show up on your caller ID."

For more information on prize scams, visit: The Federal Trade Commisson website.