PENN YAN—The Penn Yan village police are reporting potential scams targeting residents.
The police said two Village of Penn Yan residents received telephone calls from a person alleging that the residents were winners of large sums of money. The caller informed the residents that in order to claim their prize money, the residents needed to either wire money, send a personal check, or use a credit card or debit card to pay the taxes due on the money they have won.
One of the residents that did not cooperate with the caller, reported that they received numerous phone calls from the caller attempting to get them to send payment.
Police are advising residents not to send any form of payment in response to these types of calls and not to give out any personal information such as your social security number, credit card number, bank account numbers, or PIN numbers to anyone over the phone.
The Penn Yan Police Department also received information from another resident that they received a letter in the mail that stated they had won money in the “American Family Publishing Sweepstakes Drawing.” The letter directed the resident to contact a claims agent and the agent would direct the resident on how to proceed with the check that is enclosed with the letter.
The check that is sent with the letter is intended to help pay the Government Service Tax that is due on the winnings. The check that is enclosed appears to be real and is always for more than the required Government Service Tax amount. The claims agent will direct the winner to deposit the check into their account and then send a wire transfer of the money to a specified account.
By the time it is realized that the check is fictitious, the transaction has cleared and there is no record. After the transaction takes place the “winner” is ultimately the loser that has lost money from their account or is responsible to pay back the money to the bank.