Old scam takes dangerous new twist - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Old scam takes dangerous new twist

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Phoenix police are warning residents about a scam phone call that appears to be targeting senior citizens.

"First thing they said was I was a winner in the Publisher's Clearing House," said Doris, who received the phone call on Monday morning.

CBS 5 News agreed not to reveal her last name because she appears to have been targeted by the caller.

Publisher's Clearing House is one of the most recognizable contest names. But the name is also used by crooks and con artists who are looking to steal money and personal information from victims.

"I figured it was a scam almost from the beginning," Doris said.

She said she told the caller she could not have won the contest because she did not enter it. At that point, the call took a turn that put Doris on edge.

"He said, 'Are you alone right now?' And I said, 'Boo!'" Doris said.

"This is something we want to know about," said James Holmes from the Phoenix Police Department.

Holmes told CBS 5 News the sweepstakes scams have been used by crooks for years.

"But when you say, 'Publisher's Clearing House,' and 'Do you live alone?' Those two things, that's a red flag for us," Holmes said.

He said anyone who receives this or other scam calls should report it to police by calling (602) 262-6151 or filing an online police report.

Doris said she's not too concerned, because her son lives with her. But she contacted CBS 5 News about her phone call because she worries that other senior citizens may fall for the scam.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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