The scam attempt made on Todd County resident Doris Peterson involved classic elements: sweepstakes, gift cards and overseas phone calls.
According to a sheriff’s report filed Wednesday, Peterson received a call from someone with a “foreign accent” claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. She was asked to buy a Wal-Mart gift card or credit card and call a number with an 876 area code.
She called the number but didn’t give up any personal info. Though she was assured the call was free, her phone bill showed a $5 charge, the report said.
Although it sounds like a toll free number, the area code 876 is assigned to Jamaica, where about 30,000 calls are made daily in an “attempt ... to defraud American citizens,” according to an online alert by AARP.
More from Star Tribune
More From Whistleblower
The Whistleblower column and blog are shutting down, but our commitment remains to investigating tips from readers.
A Baltimore couple and their company were ordered to pay back $616,000 to Spanish-speaking immigrants for immigration services that they were neither qualified nor authorized to provide, the Federal Trade Commission announced last week.
A company that labeled millions of Facebook users as a "jerk" or "not a jerk" is facing federal scrutiny after the agency said it improperly obtained information to create user profiles.
CenterPoint agreed last week to pay at least $192,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by the City of Minneapolis and various insurance companies after a gas explosion near a south Minneapolis Cub Foods in 2011.
A company accused of "mortgage scams" spent at least $2 million for a direct-mail campaign aimed at Minnesota veterans, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.