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Consumer officials warn of sweepstakes scams

Published On: Jun 21 2013 07:40:40 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 21 2013 07:47:17 AM CDT
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Listen to your voicemail. Most people jump on the computer and ignore their phone. “While office voicemail is indeed becoming antiquated, some people do leave voice messages, and if you ignore them, you could miss something important,” Levit says.

MADISON, Wis. -

Wisconsin officials are alerting residents to statewide scam calls telling them they have won a sweepstakes prize.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says the calls claim to be from Publishers Clearing House. They ask residents to pay an upfront fee using a pre-paid debit card to collect the prize.

Potential victims are directed to pick up a Green Dot MoneyPak pre-paid debit card from a retail or drug store in order to transfer required upfront fees.  In two cases, the scammer offered victims a discount when they said they couldn't afford the fees.

Officials said sweepstakes scams are one of the most common consumer complaints. They ask residents not to disclose their MoneyPak number or receipt information.

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