BELLINGHAM - A new phone scam posing as Publishers Clearing House may be targeting Bellingham residents, said Bellingham Police spokesman Mark Young.
Someone posing as a representative for Publishers Clearing House called several Bellingham residents to tell them they won a large prize, Young said. One Bellingham man was told he won $750,000 and a new Mercedes.
After a brief chat, the caller gives the supposed prizewinners another number to call to collect their winnings.
One man called the Nevada area code (775) phone number he was given and spoke with someone named Michelle Brown, who started asking for personal information such as his birthday, email and address, Young said. When the man asked Brown what her name was and where she was working from, she hung up.
According to the Publishers Clearing House website, "All PCH prizes of $500 or greater are awarded by either certified or express letter or in person by our famous prize patrol at our option."
The PCH site also says it is never necessary to purchase something or pay a fee to enter, win or claim a prize.
People should be wary of any phone calls asking for personal information, Young said.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it always is," Young said. "There's no such thing as a free lunch."
Reach SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2264.