Sheriff warns of ‘Publishers Clearing House’ scam

BUCKHANNON – Think you’ve won a Publishers Clearing House contest?

Think again, the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office is warning Upshur County residents.

Sheriff David Coffman on Tuesday issued a press release informing local residents that there have been several reports of a fraudulent Publishers Clearing House agent calling residents in the area.

“The caller tells their potential victim that they’ve won a $1.5 million prize, and in order to claim it, they have to purchase a $400 pre-paid (sic) card,” the press release cautions. “The Upshur County Sheriff’s Office urges you to not send any money, financial or personal information to anyone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House.”

One of the phone numbers from which the fraudulent agent has called is 876-524-6656, according to the release.

Coffman knows of at least three people who have received phone calls from the scammer, he said Wednesday. Fortunately, the sheriff doesn’t believe any local residents have fallen victim to the ploy.

“As far as I know, the public hasn’t lost any money,” Coffman said.

Such scams may be reported to the sheriff’s department by calling 304-472-1180, or to the West Virginia State Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-800-368-8808 or visiting

Contact Katie Kuba by email at Follow her Twitter at IMT_Kuba.