Port St. Joe Woman Warns of Phone Scam

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PORT ST. JOE - A Port St. Joe woman is letting the public know about a publishers clearing house-style scam she discovered a few weeks ago.

Alison Prest entered Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes for the first time two weeks ago.

She said, "It told me to fill out some information and it would be entered in the Publisher’s Clearing House Million Dollar Giveaway."

Since then she's been bombarded with e-mails and phone calls, one of which was from the Virgin Islands.

"He said I had won a million dollars and a car and all I needed to do was go to my local Wal-Mart center and put $500 on a gift card,” said Prest.

Prest knew right away she was the target of a scam.

"At first you get a little excited, I mean who wouldn't but yeah my alarm went off,” she said. “I just told him, it to sounds too good be true and it probably is too good to be true and I hung up the phone."

Now Prest wants to get the word out to not answer calls from area codes you're unfamiliar with.

She also says do your research.

The Publisher’s Clearing House has a special section on its website explaining how to spot a possible scam.

It says winner of more than a thousand dollars will be notified in person.

Winners of smaller prizes are contacted by mail.

The site also warns people not to send money to claim a prize, as Prest was asked to do.