The Mount Airy Police Department is warning local residents of a possible telephone scam.
City police already have received two complaints, according to Capt. Alan Freeman.
Unknown individuals have called local citizens and stated that they have won a large sum of money. The callers claim to be representatives of Publishers Clearing House or similar companies.
The citizens then are instructed to go to Walmart and buy a $500, 14-digit Green Dot scratch card, a type of pre-paid financial instrument.
Those contacted have been instructed to then notify the person who called them and supply the 14-digit personal identification number (PIN) on the card.
Repeated calls have been made to the citizens checking to see if they have obtained the numbers.
One of the area codes used for the contacts is “896,” with the accompanying phone number traced to Jamaica.
Law enforcement officials say consumers should always be wary of such solicitations, especially those that require paying money in order to receive an alleged prize.
Foreign links also should present a red flag, due to the existence of several major international scams that are aided by being able to operate outside the reach of U.S. authorities.
If an offer sounds too good to be true, city police have said repeatedly, a scam usually is involved.