A Platteville woman provided a detailed report of a scam attempt last week.
The woman was called by someone claiming to be “Mark McGuire” of Publishers Clearing House Nov. 10 around 4:30 p.m. The man told her she had won a $1.5 million prize, with regular $5,000 payments for life and a “pearl white” 2016 BMW.
To get the prizes required a $9,500 wire transfer, including a $4,000 cashier’s check sent by FedEx, to a “Thomas Calandria” at an address in Vista, Calif.
The man told her delivery of the prize had to be private and confidential, with two federal agents and a lawyer to accompany the woman to a bank.
McGuire’s claimed phone number was (518) 772-2979, a number in the Albany, N.Y. area according to an online search. He also gave what he claimed was his personal number, (876) 810-0900. The 876 area code is an international area code, as are 809, 284 and 649, according to 800Notes.com, which said the international area code is an additional attempt to stick callers with expensive phone bills.
The Publishers Clearing House website says that “the winning is always free and you never have to pay to claim a prize award.” The website said “If someone contacts you claiming to be from PCH, and tells you that you’ve won a prize award — then asks you to send a payment or money card in order to claim the prize — STOP! You have not heard from the real PCH.”
Those who do hear from the fake PCH or from other scam artists should contact local law enforcement.