Police warn community of Clearinghouse mailing scam

The Darien Police Department is warning the public about a mail-scam reported in town. The potential victim is sent what appears to be documentation that they have won a substantial amount of money in the “Publishers Clearinghouse” sweepstakes. A check is included and the recipient is instructed to contact the “claim manager” prior to cashing the check and warned not to contact anyone in regards to the prize.

The amount the check is made out for is substantially higher than the amount the recipients are supposed to have won. The recipient is instructed to deposit the check, and send a refund of part or all of the difference to a location in New York (usually via money order or other untraceable means). The ultimate goal of the scam is to have the victim send the refund prior to realizing the check is fraudulent.

The Darien Police Department wishes to remind people that this “overpayment/refund” scam continues to take varying forms. Should anyone encounter a situation where they have been told they were overpaid for something and are being requested to send money in return, please consider the possibility that the process is part of a scam. As always, contact the Darien Police Department with any questions or if you are suspicious of a communication you’ve received.

An example of the scam document being received by residents can be seen below: