The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Fraud Unit would like to remind the public to be extra careful when dealing with calls related to prizes.
Today the Service received four calls from citizens advising that they received a phone call from an individual saying they were with Publishing Clearing House and that they have won the grand prize.
This name is similar to the Publishers Clearing House which often sends out information in the mail.
The caller from the Publishing Clearing House advised the citizen that they had won the grand prize and they needed to keep the news a secret until the date they are given the prize. The caller will then ask for banking information as apparently you have to provide $50,000 in order to claim the grand prize. The $50,000 is required to process and send the grand prize. The four complainants have all been told they have won the grand prize which has varied in size but has been as large as two million dollars (US).
The caller will then continue asking for banking information including your bank, the account number, mother’s maiden name, social insurance number and other personal information.
The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service would like to remind the public that any prize that sounds too good to be true is a prize they want to avoid. Never provide any of your banking information over the phone, unless you
have initiated the call and it is to a legitimate organization.
Secondly any organization trying to provide you with a prize does not need your social insurance number, your banking card information and most certainly not your mother’s maiden name.
If you provide this information to an individual you do not know, you are increasing your chances of being a victim of identity theft.
The best thing to do when you get this phone call is to hang up.
Fortunately none of the victims today provided any funds.
If you have received one of these calls and have provided any information to them, please contact the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Fraud Unit at 705-949-6300.