Olmsted County man loses $1K in Publisher’s Clearing House scam

(ABC 6 News) – A local 70-year-old man fell prey to a scammer pretending to offer money from Publisher’s Clearing House, the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office reports.

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According to the OSCO, the man received an email that appeared to be from the sweepstakes corporation, telling the man he had won a large sum and requesting a prompt response.

Shortly after the man emailed back, he received a phone call from an individual claiming to be from Publisher’s Clearing House, who said in order to receive the prize, he needed to pay $1,000 in fees.

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The individual sent the man two barcodes to scan, which allowed him to send the money in two $500 increments.

Capt. James Schueller said the OSCO has not encountered scams using bar codes previously.

After the man sent $1,000 to the scammer, he reportedly received many more calls from a person saying that he needed to pay another $5,000 to cover additional fees before he could collect the “prize.”

At that point, Schueller said, the man realized he had been scammed and reported the encounter to the sheriff’s department.