A friend of mine received a call that she had won the "Publisher's Clearinghouse" Millions. At first, that sounds very exciting. A check was in the mail. Then something happened to the check. Then there was a fee, paid through Western Union, that would free up the check. It has escalated from there. Once the fee was paid the "package" was to be FedEx'ed the next day. Of course. Nothing arrives and there is some other hurdle. It has gone on for weeks.
These crooks are organized. They have people who are pretending to be an international banker from New York City, a Custom's person at the Dallas airport, a Publisher's clearinghouse rep, and another character that calls to provide prize updates. Places like Puerto Rico, Costa Rico, New York City, Dallas, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee are involved in this intrigue. If this wasn't so hurtful to my friend the creativity shown by the crooks would make a great movie.
What bothers me is that there are a lot of public company names being used in the scam. When each has been contacted they have been polite but haven't helped much. The authorities that have been contacted all think the process is a scam. But, they can't help. Each suggesting we talk to another. My frustration is this can't be the only person in the U.S. facing this dilemma. When you call "Publisher's Clearinghouse" they have two phone options for if you have received a communication or believe you are being scammed! Obviously, not an isolated event.
After escalating from dollars to get the gift it appeared to have stopped. Then a the crooks are back. These folks are calling promising something that isn't coming. Then they propose a solution to get the money paid in back to my friend. But it requires another activity to enrich them.
Suggestions on how to get these people stopped? I would like to personally find the scum bags that are taking advantage of my friend in her 70's.