The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office would like to make the public aware of an old scam that is making a resurgence.

Several fake lottery scams, known as “419” scams, have been reported in recent months. The scams originally started in 2005.

The scam involves promising the victim they have won a large sum of money and a vehicle in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. The victim is also advised it will require a small up-front payment to obtain.

The email instructs the victim to obtain a “GreenDot” prepaid card in order to transfer the money to the fraudster. When the victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim to pay, or simply disappears.

In recent cases, emails were sent to the victims from France. After replying to the email, victims began receiving calls from Jamaica from persons claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.

The Sheriff’s Office wants to warn citizens to use caution when receiving emails or calls from unknown entities, especially when they offer money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Anyone who believed they may have been a victim of this, or any other type of scam, should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 600-3111, or their local law enforcement agency.

Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137