Woman Loses Money In Sweepstakes Scam

A Johnston County woman says she lost money after falling victim to a sweepstakes scam.

The 37 year-old Clayton resident said she received a phone call at her home on December 17th from a man claiming she had just won $950,000 plus a Mercedes Benz in the 2016 Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.

The caller informed the local woman all she needed to do to obtain the cash and the new car was to send $249 to cover the taxes. The victim went to an area Wal-Mart store and transferred the $249 to the suspect.

A short time after returning home, the woman received a second phone call from the man saying an additional $100 was needed to cover the taxes. She became suspicious and called the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.  A deputy was at the victims home taking a report when the suspect called again.

The deputy answered the telephone. The man cursed at officer and hung up the telephone.

The Federal Trade Commission doesn’t oversee sweepstakes, but is investigating thousands of sweepstakes scams reported every year. The FTC says no legitimate sweepstakes company will contact you asking for money so you can claim your prize.

If you have been the victim of a sweepstakes scam, report it to your local authorities and the FTC Complaint Assistance Division.