ORLANDO, Fla. – In an alarming turn of events, a South Florida woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has recently reported receiving a series of calls from an unidentified man claiming that she has won a staggering $4.5 million and a luxurious Mercedes Benz from Publishers Clearing House. Astonishingly, the man not only knew her name but also her place of residence in Southwest Florida, adding an eerie element to the entire situation.
Recounting the first call she received, the woman revealed that it occurred when she was returning from her father’s funeral this past August. She had barely begun to process her grief when the man on the other end of the line started detailing the prizes she had allegedly won. Despite facing a train delay due to a storm near Fort Myers, the man, who identified himself as Jefferson Cooper from Publishers Clearing House, assured her that the Prize Patrol would patiently await her arrival.
“He said that’s all right, the crew would be waiting for me when I got off the train to come home,” the woman recalled, clearly taken aback by the man’s persistence and knowledge of her whereabouts.
News 6, through investigative efforts, managed to obtain one of the last voicemail messages left by the mysterious caller. The number appeared to originate from the state of Pennsylvania: 267-696-7545. Curiously, when News 6 decided to reach out to the number, it led to an unexpected discovery. The call connected to a phone app service called “Found,” which claimed to be designed to protect against robocalls. The voice message further stated that the number had not yet been fully “configured,” leaving the true identity of the caller shrouded in uncertainty.
The South Florida woman, having seen a previous report by News 6 about Ocala nurse June Martin falling victim to a similar Prize Patrol scheme orchestrated through text messages and photos of two Mercedes sedans, felt compelled to contact the news outlet. Martin revealed that she had lost a substantial sum of $1,500 in gift cards after being coerced into paying the so-called “vendors” who claimed they would deliver her cash prize and allow her to choose her desired car.
Chris Irving, a representative from Publishers Clearing House, expressed his concern and frustration, stating, “There is no Jefferson Cooper that works at Publisher’s Clearing House,” and emphasized that the company does not require any fees to claim prizes. He labeled these imposters as criminals and urged viewers to remain vigilant against such scams.
Irving revealed that similar incidents have been reported throughout the years, emphasizing that Publishers Clearing House never contacts winners via phone to inform them of their prizes. He reiterated, “No legitimate sweepstakes, and certainly not Publishers Clearing House, would ever ask for money to claim a prize. It’s a scam!”
On a more positive note, Irving assured News 6 that an authentic $1 million prize is soon to be delivered to a lucky recipient in the United States by the genuine Prize Patrol.
For any consumer or investment concerns, individuals are encouraged to reach out to News 6 via email at [email protected] or simply text the words “make ends meet” along with their issue and contact information to 407-676-7428.
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