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Sheriff’s office warns of phony sweepstakes calls

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department is warning people of a telephone scam targeting area residents.

The most recent scam involves a caller who tells the person answering the phone that he or she has won a large sum of money through the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. The victim is told to pay a certain sum of money, in cash, to cover fees in order to collect the prize. The caller leaves a phone number with a 202 area code, the area code for Washington, D.C., as a call-back number.

The caller also gives the victim a “Lloyd’s of London” phone number so the victim can verify the prize. The number has a 702 area code, which is the area code for Las Vegas.

Both numbers forward calls to phones outside the U.S.

“Please remember that you cannot win a sweepstakes if you don’t enter,” said Sheriff Rocky Watson. “Additionally, no sweepstakes requires you to pay a fee to receive your winnings. Finally, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.”

Chelsea Bannach

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