Scammers target Facebook and PCH Sweepstakes

By Matt Porter

August 29, 2013 Updated Aug 30, 2013 at 12:48 AM EDT

Town of Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) When Glenn Connon posted on the official Publishers Clearing House Facebook page, he was joking he was still waiting for their van to pull up.

He didn't expect hours later to receive a message from someone at the prize patrol.

"At first, through all the Facebook contact," Connon said, "I definitely thought maybe there was some clearing in the sky that I was going to get lucky."

Connon said the prospect of winning millions clouded his judgment.

"I definitely thought about it, this could be me, I could be the winner," he said.

But the so-called prize patrol member named Todd Sloane asked Glenn for his personal information, and then asked him to buy a pre-paid credit card valued at $400.

"He told me once I had purchased the card. He would come to the house, would reimburse me for the card, and give me my award," Connon said.

Although the name Todd Sloane comes from a legitimate prize patrol member, the Publishers Clearing House told Action News they never solicit for personal information on Facebook.

Soliciting for money for a sweepstakes is also illegal, according to Assistant Attorney General Michael Danaher in the Office of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

"No legitimate sweepstakes would have you give them money so that you can claim your prize afterwards," Danaher said.

The internet has always been a haven for scam artists, but as more people log on to social media sites like Facebook, they are targeting those websites especially.

"As a lot of social media has advanced, the scam artists have reached into those areas and tried to grab those people," Danaher said.

Connon said he was shocked he could be swindled.

"I'm very security and safety conscious," he said. "Just the fact that I fell for it would lead me to believe somebody of the elderly community or somebody less savvy than I would definitely fall for something like this."

If you feel you've encountered or fell victim to a scam, you can report the incident to the NYS Attorney General's Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau at their toll-free hotline 1-800-771-7755.