A recent Publishers Clearing House scam has left area citizens out of thousands of dollars. The scam starts with a call or letter saying an individual has won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. One Winneshiek County citizen, said the Department, received the scam call and reported she was told she’d won a new Mercedes Benz and $7,500 a month for the remainder of her life. 

Each call, the scammers explain there is a small fee or outstanding government bill due before claiming. The scammers request money or bank information to claim the prize. “If Publishers Clearing House ever calls you to say you’ve won anything, it’s a scam,” stated the Department. “Publishers Clearing House does not call winners.”  They encourage the public to never release personal information or send money in these situations.