Police in the village of Tupper Lake want residents to be aware of a new phone scam.
The scam takes shape in a variety of ways, but it starts with a phony representative from an organization that calls itself Global Publishing Company.
Tupper Lake Village Police Chief Tom Fee told WNBZ Wednesday that the scam doesn't appear to target anyone specifically, but he's heard from at least two senior citizens who received calls from the fake company, which he described as "similar in nature to the Publishers Clearing House."
According to Fee, the victim gets a phone call informing them they've won anywhere from $49,000 to $350,000. The scammer tells the victim they will arrive in Tupper Lake the following day to deliver the check.
What happens next varies, Fee says.
In at least one instance, the scammer called back the next day, claiming that instead of a check, the victim has actually won a Mercedes Benz. The caller then asks for a check so the fake company can pay the sales tax for the vehicle and then deliver the prize.
The scammer tells the victim to send the check to a post office box in either Chicago, New York City, or Puerto Rico.
Other victims received calls the following day from the scammer, who claimed the prize money was held up in customs. They ask for a money order in order to pay clearance fees so the check can be sent.
"I know of three, possibly four confirmed phone calls in Tupper Lake," Fee said, noting that he doesn't want anyone to be taken in by the scam.
"This is nonsense," he said. "But it does appear that there is a likelihood that people could be fooled."
Fee said that anyone receiving a call of this nature should attempt to write down the number that appears on caller ID and contact police immediately.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is," Fee added.