Sweepstakes scheme costs victim $17,000

ROGERS COUNTY, Okla. - You'll find it front and center on the Rogers County Sheriff's Facebook page.

A warning about a scheme to steal your money using the legitimate Publishers Clearing House name.

Crooks send an official looking letter claiming to be from PCH.

In some cases, it asks for a fee or tax to be paid upfront.

An elderly Rogers County woman did just that, to the tune of $17,000.

Her prize? Nothing, but a huge financial loss.

"I think it's incredibly sad and despicable, " Carla told us.

She experienced a similar situation, only this time,  a caller claimed to be with Publishers Clearing House.

She was to buy and load a Green Dot Moneypak card, a popular brand in the prepaid card world.

Send $499 to get a $1,500,000 prize.

Right on its website,  Greendot warns customers if the card is lost, or you hand the card's account number over to a criminal, the company is not liable and that money is untraceable.

It even warns of such scams.

So Carla hung up and told her elderly mom what happened.

"She was with me actually when I got the call so we discussed it. Don't give anybody any information. If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true, just don't share your personal information."

A legit sweepstakes will never ask you to send money to enter, or claim a prize.

It won't ask for some fee, tax or additional payment either.

As for Publishers Clearing House, it says it does not e-mail or call winners of major prizes.

You'd be contacted by overnight delivery, certified mail, or if it's a big prize, in person.

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