Benzie County residents getting fed up with scams
The Benzie County Sheriff's Department says they've gotten calls from almost half a dozen people this week alone, saying they are falling victim to phone, email, and snail mail scammers.
"If there are any threats made to people who get these scam notifications they should call their local police department and report these and just confirm," said Benzie County Undersheriff, David Tucker.
That's what Bill Pemberton did when he got a call on Thursday morning from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. The caller told him that he had won $1-million, but that he also needed to confirm his mailing address, and have proper identification.
"And I said, is that all and he said, "well no...you've got to go to Walgreens, you've got to have your blue dot card,"" said Pemberton.
Bill says he didn't know what that was, and when he called Walgreens they told him that it may be some type of Visa card, and that the phone call was probably a scam.
The scammer called back a second time asking if Bill had purchased the $120 card. This time the caller forgot to block his number, and it showed up on the caller ID.
"He called me back at 11:39 and said, "We're really anxious to bring your money,"" said Pemberton. ""I have two U.S. Marshalls and myself waiting to bring you your check for a million dollars and I need your physical address.""
Pemberton gave the caller his address, and the caller informed him that they would be there at 3:30 but that Bill still needed to have the special card with him.
The caller never called Bill back, and never showed up at his door. Luckily, Bill didn't lose any money this time. His biggest concern is letting others know, so that they do not become a victim.
"I hope I have at least helped one person," said Pemberton.
But he is still very angry that there are people out there who would try to trick people to steal money from them.
"Makes me feel that they should be in front of a firing squad," said Pemberton.
The real Publishers Clearing House says that Pemberton's call was definitely a scam, and that they will never contact their winners ahead of time.
"At the real Publishers Clearing House the winning is always free," representatives said in a phone interview.