13 InvestigatesScam Alert


Valley couple thought they were millionaires

Posted at 11:30 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2018-11-21 17:46:42-05
Who doesn't want a million dollars? We've all seen those Publisher's Clearing House commercials, where someone is surprised with a big check.
Tonight, a Contact 13 warning for anyone who hear's those magic words: "You're a winner."
"The look on his face was unbelievable," says Jo Fricke-Closson.
She will never forget it. Her husband recently opened a letter from Publisher's Clearing House.
"He was very emotional and I've never seen him, you know, he started to cry. And he's telling me babe, we just won a million dollars," says Jo.
The letter came with this $7,200 check. The couple found themselves dreaming about retirement, and traveling the world.
"We can finally not have to live pay check, to pay check," says Jo.
But to get the rest of their money, they had to call Publisher's Clearing House. That's when they found out they'd be responsible for paying some attorney fees.
"You need to get $1,500 of that money, and mail it to me," says Jo.
And the part that really bothered Jo, they had to mail cash.
"I want you to go to UPS and mail this to us immediately," says Jo.
Something didn't seem right. So Jo looked up another phone number for Publisher's Clearing House, and made a call. 
"I told them what was going on and she said no, no, no. Tell your husband to hang up the phone," says Jo.
Turns out, it was all a scam. That's when Jo called Contact 13. 
"God forbid had somebody else gone further than we did or not caught on to it. It's just not right on so many levels," says Jo.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line. These scammers were just using the well known Publishers Clearing House name. Never pay any up-front fee for a lottery or sweepstakes prize.
Publishers Clearing House tells Contact 13, they never contact their winners before surprising them. 
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