Huntsville resident gets call promising $500,000 check from ‘clearinghouse,’ BBB says it’s a scam

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Rubye Boley got a call Wednesday at her Huntsville home from someone who claimed to be from “Clearinghouse.”

“He asked a lot of questions about where I live, not where I live, but who I live with, and if I was a senior and all that kind of stuff,” Boley told us today.

He knew her name.

The man then said he was going to come by her home that night to, “Give me half a million dollars,” Boley said.

The man and the $500,000 check never appeared.

Publisher’s Clearinghouse, which delivers millions in prize money each year, doesn’t call before they come over with a check, said Belinda McCormick, vice president of the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama.

The man wasn’t going to deliver money, he wanted Boley to get him some money, McCormick said.

“Well what we see in numerous calls that we get from consumers, the end result is that this guy wants her to go to a local drug store or somewhere to buy a money card and send him money to get your winnings,” she said.

But, if you’re being asked to provide money for a processing fee, or insurance, or several other possibilities in order to secure the prize money, it’s a scam.

Boley was wary on the call.

“It wasn’t a surprise because I have expected this kind of stuff out of people, and they are geared toward the elderly,” Boley said.

McCormick said seniors are often the targets of the scams, but mostly because they happen to be home during the day.

“Crooks don’t discriminate, whoever will answer the phone is who they are targeting,” McCormick said.

McCormick has some simple advice for anybody who receives a call like the one Boley got Wednesday.

“Just hang up. You know, we’re in a society, especially down South we want to be polite, but we don’t have to be polite to these people,” McCormick said.

Boley called the Better Business Bureau and then the Huntsville Police Department and described the call. She also has some good advice for folks on the receiving end of the line from a scammer.

“I would tell them not to give out any personal information.”

If you’ve been approached by a suspected scammer or have related concerns, contact the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama at 256 533-1640 or email info@northalabama.bbb.org.