Punxsutawney, PA – Police received more reports yet again of people in the Punxsutawney area being scammed out of their hard-earned cash by someone claiming to be from Publisher’s Clearing House.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You should be suspicious if someone says you’ve won something from a contest you don’t remember entering, or if they say you can only get your prize after you pay a fee.
Police want to remind you that, if you ever get the feeling that something isn’t right, you can always call your local police office to check with them if something is a scam.
One out of every five adults in Pennsylvania admit that they’ve been the victim of a telephone scam. So how can you avoid them? With 89 percent of people in Pennsylvania receiving between 5 and 30 nuisance calls per week, telephone scams are still causing major problems for consumers.
The YouGov survey commissioned by CPR Call Blocker revealed the top five scams people are falling victim to in Pennsylvania:
- Internal Revenue scam
- Credit/loan scam
- Robocall/automated messages scam
- Lottery/sweepstake scam
- Missed call scam
Many of these scams rely on the victim handing over personal and security details or asking the victim to pay a processing fee or call back on a premium rate line.
While many of us are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to spotting a scam, 17 percent of those questioned have lost money to scams in the last 12 months. Of those, 23 percent lost less than $100, 22 percent lost between $100 and $500, but 27 percent lost between $500 and $10,000, and 4 percent were scammed out of over $10,000.
If you’re contacted out of the blue, be suspicious and never respond to an unsolicited call. Don’t assume a caller is genuine because they have information about you such as your account details.
Never give out personal information when answering an incoming call and if you’re not convinced the call is genuine, hang up and call back using the official phone number of the organization calling from their website or any paperwork you have such as statements.
Scammers also target people who they believe are vulnerable or more likely to believe them, many of whom are seniors. Be sure to talk to your family about the warning signs of a scam and ask about any suspicious phone calls they’ve received.
If you or someone you love have been a victim of any kind of scam, let police know immediately. If you suspect that something might be a scam but you’re not sure, you can always ask your local police or bank for their advice.
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