Kentucky State Police warn citizens of phone scam

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Officials with Kentucky State Police (KSP) are warning all citizens, particularly the elderly, about a new phone scam where the caller pretends to be a representative from Publishers Clearing House.

The sound of a telephone call is a familiar and an oftentimes welcoming part of our day, but sometimes it’s a Siren's Call for con artists; something KSP officials say is happening again.

“My understanding is that it's a phone scam targeting elderly citizens saying they won a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, which asks them to put money on a “Green Dot MoneyPak” -it's a re-loadable debit card,” says Trooper Tony Russell.

The warning stems from a complaint made to KSP Friday from an individual whose identity they are withholding during the investigation. In the meantime, area residents appear to have different opinions on the issue.

“It upsets me that people around here do that, especially around here,” says Tia Koots.

“Yeah, it does concern me a little bit. It seems like there is always someone trying to scam somebody. It’s bad,” says Robert Collins.

“I just think if anyone was stupid enough to give them money, then they deserve what they get,” says Venita Morgan.

“Well, it's unfortunate because there are a lot of people, especially elderly people, that really don't understand the gimmicks and the tricks that they use,” says Terry Thies.

Law enforcement officials say there are some very basic steps that everyone can follow to avoid falling victim to one of these cons.

“Be very protective of your personal information and money. If they don't already have that information, then don't provide it to them over the phone or the internet. Ask them to send you something in writing, if it’s a legitimate business, that's the best way to handle those transactions,” Russell said.

Officials say anyone who receives a suspicious phone call from a solicitor should contact local law enforcement immediately. They added that the criminals behind these scams are often difficult to find, as many of them are based overseas.

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