Queens District RCMP are warning that scammers have been impersonating representatives from Publisher's Clearing House and calling local residents, claiming that they have won sums of money as high as $2.5-million.
The caller is then given a number allegedly belonging to Scotiabank in Toronto and are told to call it after they answer a few questions. One of the questions asks for the recipient's social insurance number.
In one incident, when the recipient became suspicious and questioned the caller, the caller became profane, according to a news release RCMP issued on January 11.
RCMP ask people to keep in mind that Publishers doesn't e-mail or call its big winners, and warned that if you receive an email, a telephone call, or a bulk mail letter saying that you've won a big prize from Publishers, it's a scam.
You never have to pay to receive a legitimate Publishers prize, the RCMP said, adding that scammers extort money from you in exchange for a promise of a prize that never materializes.
Other points to keep in mind: don't give out confidential information; you don't have to give Publishers Clearing House your address, bank account number, drivers license number, social insurance number or any other confidential information.
If you receive a check in the mail, it doesn't mean you've won.
Scammers sometimes make it appear that you're not "really" paying for your prize by handing over a check and asking you to send back some of the money.
You can always verify your wins with Publishers.
If you're still not sure if your win notice is legitimate, contact Publisher's Clearing House directly at www.thebalance.com/how-to-contact-pch-896722> and ask them to verify your prize. Do not use the telephone numbers or email addresses included in your win notice; scammers fake that information to trick their victims.