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Sweepstakes scam targeting area residents

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Scammers are targeting area residents telling them they've won a large sum of money but have to pay fees first.

Dozens of area residents a week are calling Amarillo's Better Business Bureau saying they've been reached by a person who claims to be with the Publishers Clearing House.

This is a sweepstakes that's usually seen on TV commercials during this time of year.

The BBB says around 30 residents a week are now receiving fraudulent calls, emails, or letters saying they've won a check, and they need to wire money to the company for processing fees.

The BBB says to never wire money because it is like mailing cash. It can't be recovered.

They add you shouldn't have to pay to receive a sweepstakes award. While more residents are reporting the scam and not falling victim, it's still happening in our area.

Amarillo's BBB CEO Janna Kiehl says, " There's still a lot of consumers that are getting scammed. And we estimate in the millions of dollars. I mean locally, nationally it's a real problem when a lot of this money is leaving the country to support what other causes that we're not sure of. And all of it is being lost. And these victims' pockets are completely empty."

Kiehl says if you receive emails or calls from Publishers Clearing House indicating you have won a prize and need to send money or give personal information, don't fall for it. It's a scam.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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