Police offer tips after attempted phone scam

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Shelly Birkelo
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

TOWN OF BELOIT—Police are offering tips to prevent phone scams after a recent local attempt.

Scam artists left several messages on a local woman's answering machine telling her she had won $2 million and a car in a Publisher's Clearing House contest and asked her to call, according to a Town of Beloit Police Department news release.

When she called, the woman was told she had won a 2012 Mercedes that had been delivered to Beloit and contest officials were waiting there to deliver it to her. During the phone call, they asked the woman to go to a local store to buy a prepaid debit card and put $699.99 on it to pay the 1 percent federal tax on her prizes.

The woman talked to her family, who reported the scam to police.

Authorities learned the call to the woman came from an 876 area code in Jamaica.

Police warned others not to call a number with an 876 area code and that 876 numbers are not toll free.

If you receive a call from this area code, hang up immediately, police said.

They also offered these tips to prevent phone scams:

-- Don't pay any money to collect prizes. Legitimate companies will not ask for money to deliver a prize.

-- Never wire money to anyone you don't know.

-- Never buy a prepaid debit card for anyone you don't know.

-- Don't provide anyone personal information such as bank account, PIN or Social Security numbers.

-- Contact police if you suspect a scam.

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