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Sheriff warns of new scam

Scott Seitz2 • Sep 27, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard wants residents to be aware of a new scam which has recently hit the area.

The scam involves in the use of conventional mail notification with a phone call, advising potential victims they have won a Publisher's Clearing House prize, the sheriff said.

"This notification is followed by a phone call advising the victim to go to a local department store or pharmacy and purchase a reloadable debit card," Howard said.

"This is followed by yet another phone call requesting information on the recently-purchased reloadable debit card," he added.

Howard said the scam has been reported in and around the Willard area, with the prize notification coming from Canada.

"The notification included a fake cashier's check as well as official-looking prize notification documents," he said. "Once the caller receives information on the debit card the money can be removed from the card without the victim ever knowing it."

Howard said local law-enforcement officials haven't seen this particular type of scam involving Publisher's Clearing House before.

"It's coming from out of the country, Canada, which gives us no jurisdiction to finish the investigation," the sheriff said. "Then that is more disheartening to the victims."

Howard said he forwarded the case information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"I want to alert the public to be very cautious," he said. "If it sounds and looks too good to be true, it probably is."

Howard said Detective John Harris recently worked one of these scam cases.

"In that case, the person was not a victim, but almost was," Howard said.

The scam artists will use a TracPhone, which has a name and number.

Officials said this makes the potential victim feel more secure, thinking they have a name and number.

"That's part of the scam," the sheriff said.

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