MACON, Ga. — A Monroe County couple thought they received a call that could change their lives forever, claiming that they won $1 million. It turned out too good to be true.
Michael Womack lives in southern Monroe County with his wife and received a call from someone claiming to be Publishers Clearing House, the organization that hands out the popular "$5,000 a Week for Life" prize.
"I got a call this morning saying I'd won $1 million and a 2019 Mercedes-Benz sedan," Womack said.
Womack initially was ecstatic but grew suspicious when the caller began asking for personal information.
I got very suspicious when they asked me my grandmother's maiden name," Womack said.
They also asked for his Social Security Number and a second call said that he could claim his prize if he had $500 in gift cards from Walgreens when they arrived at his home.
"That's when I said, 'I'll give it to you when you show up with the money and the car,'" Womack said.
A quick scan of PCH's rules say no purchase is required to win their big prizes and customer service had a clear message.
"If you were contacted by someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, please do not send any money. You have not heard from the real Publishers Clearing House," a recorded voice message said.
13WMAZ tried calling the number communicating with Womack, but only got a voicemail.
Womack had a Monroe County deputy sit in his driveway in case the scammers showed up to collect. Monroe County Sheriff Brad Freeman says buyers beware.
"If you're getting a phone call that you didn't expect to get and people asking for your personal information, do not give your personal information out -- your Social Security Number, dates of birth, anything like that," Freeman said.
Womack was a bit disappointed that the call turned out too good to be true, but had a message for older folks like himself.
"If it feels to good to be true, it probably is too good to be true," he said.
Publishers Clearing House does not call ahead if you've won the big prize. They simply show up at your house with the check.