A 75-year-old Hingham resident fell victim last week to a familiar sweepstakes scam by phone. Although he did not send any money, he did provide sensitive personal information that will likely be used for identity theft.
Hingham Police posted an alert on their website and asked area media and indiduals to spread the word:
The resident told Hingham police that on Dec. 6 he received a phone call from an man who claimed to be from Publishers Clearing House, who told the resident he had won a top prize. In order to process his prize, the caller said, they would need some personal information. The resident was asked for, and provided, his Social Security number, his date of birth, his driver's license number, etc. The resident then asked for a call-back number and the caller gave him an area code 305 number, which is Maryland.
The resident will now contact the Social Security office, his bank, credit bureaus, and the registry of motor vehicles to report that he is at risk for identity theft.
The Hingham Police Department warns that individuals should never provide personal information, either by phone or email, unless you specifically contacted that agency and have verified with whom you are sharing information. ∞