Several scams have been reported in Belmont County in the past week, arriving by mail and phone.
The first scam is a check that arrives in the mail. The check has instructions that tell the victim to cash it at their bank and to send a large portion of the money back to cover tax, processing, and clearance. Police warn that the check is not legitimate.
Victims are also getting calls from someone claiming that they have won the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. This call instructs the victim to go to CVS, purchase a $550 money pack card, and call them back with the number on the card. They claim that the victim has won a Mercedes and $2.9 million in cash.
Sheriff Dave Lucas spoke about what to do if you are found involved with one of these scams. "Report it to us, yes. We want it reported so we can get it to our people. But the phone number connected to this was in Jamaica. So do not take the call, hang up on them, don't even talk to them. Just say 'no thanks' and hang up." Sheriff Lucas said.
Lucas also said that Publishers Clearinghouse will never call on the phone and if you have won something legitimately, you will not be asked to pay for it first.
He says it's impossible to trace these scammers calling from other countries, and once your money is gone, it's gone.