Don't Get Hooked: PCH Scam - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Don't Get Hooked: PCH Scam

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Maybe you remember entering...maybe you don't...but that is beside the point.

The voice on the other end of the phone says "Congratulations...you are a Publishers Clearing House winner!"

It is a call being received by dozens of Arkansans.

But there won't be balloons and cameras coming to your front door. It is time to burst all of your big money dreams.

Here's the pitch: The Prize Patrol is in town and ready to visit your front door. All you have to do is follow some simple instructions on your road to riches.

But it's too good to be true.

And the Arkansas Better Business Bureau wants to make sure that you...don't get hooked.

It has excited people for decades...the thought or image of the Publisher's Clearing House Prize Patrol walking up to your front door to present you with a huge check representing a life-changing amount of money.

Over the past two weeks a large number of phone calls have been made to Arkansans...informing them they have won anywhere from half-a-million to one million dollars.

Even Janet Robb with the Arkansas Better Business Bureau...who spends much of her days working to expose such scams...got the call.

"What made this one different was of course he told me I had won $550 thousand dollars...tax free...and he wanted to stay on the line," says Robb. "He asked me if I was close to a Walgreens or a Walmart."

The caller told Ms. Robb to go buy a green dot money card in the amount of $450.00 Then she was asked to scratch off the back, share the number and go back home and wait for her prize patrol visit.

"It was interesting," recalls Robb. "He asked me if I wanted a private or a public presentation. A public presentation they would have brought TV cameras. Of course none of this would have happened. But I suppose with some people it lends that air of legitimacy to it."

And the scam artists are telling those they target not to tell anyone they have won and to just act like a normal customer when getting the money card.

Of course Robb reminds you that when you win, you collect.

You may have to pay the IRS...but not anybody else.

Air date: June 11th, 2013