SCAM ALERT: Publisher's Clearing House - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SCAM ALERT: Publisher's Clearing House

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One eastern Iowa woman claims she was told she won the Publisher's Clearing House prize, but knew something wasn't right. She received a call saying she was a winner, but she'd have to pay $16,000.

Christine Wright of Cedar Falls says she's been entering the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes for nearly 30 years. She says she knows how the prizes work and that what the man on the other end of the phone was saying, was pushing her to do far from normal.

When Wright answered the phone early last week a man on the other end said, "Oh Christine I am so excited for you, it's your lucky day!"

The man went on to tell Wright he was from Publisher's Clearing House and she'd won. The scammer asked her to follow a few steps before she'd get her prize, one step, going to Walmart to send money.

"I did not see Publisher's Clearing House anywhere in the Walmart parking lot, nor did I see balloons and they always bring balloons and roses, I know my Publisher's Clearing House," said Wright.

Wright says she stayed on the phone for hours with the man, hoping to somehow get enough info to stop him from doing this again.

"That's why I spent four hours of my time to make sure that people understand the levels that they are wiling to stoop to destroy for money," said Wright. "Destroying loving, kind lives for the sake of the all mighty dollar...and that is heartbreaking."

Cedar Falls Police say if you do get a scam call don't stay on the phone that long.

"If we can take some action on it we will, the one thing we always ask is please report that to us, but then don't take any action yourself independently of reporting it to us," said Lieutenant Martin Beckner, Cedar Falls Police.

Wright is hopeful no one else gets this scam call.

Wright says the biggest red flag for her was the person asking for money up front. Cedar Falls Police say it's important to never give out any personal information, never transfer money in a situation like this and be skeptical of everything a caller is telling you.

They urge you to hang up and report it to police.

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