As one of the best-known sweepstakes companies in the world, Port Washington-based Publishers Clearing House sometimes sees its name misused by con artists.
In one of the latest such scams an 81-year-old Minnesota woman lost nearly $40,000 — her life’s savings — but was fortunate enough last week to get most of it back, thanks to police.
The Hibbing, Minn., woman got a several calls from people who claimed to be from Publishers Clearing House, saying she’d won $600,000, the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune reported.
She wired them $39,500 — for “taxes” — to Canada and Florida.
Then the scammers told her to sell her house to pre-pay another $52,000 for “taxes.”
Instead she called the Hibbing police. Florida police helped out, seizing the bank account and arresting a suspect. The victim got back about $37,000 last week.
Publishers Clearing House, on its Web site, states its policy: “All prizes are delivered absolutely free.”