The old "Publishers Clearing House" scam is alive and well in Rutherford County.
A Murfreesboro resident recently called the police after receiving a phone call that was supposedly from the Publishers Clearing House. The scammer told the victim he had just won $2.5 million along with a BONUS 2015 Mercedes Benz to drive around in. Of course, the call was a fake. The money and the Benz to go with it were all a scam to steal the victims' money.
As the talk continued with the scam artist, the voice on the other end of the line suggested the victim needed to send in $499.95 in order for the transfer of cash to take place. So, the local teacher sent the money in after a quick trip to Walmart in Murfreesboro. The scammer then said that another $400 was needed for the winnings to be transferred into his account, also from Walmart in Murfreesboro. So, the 30-year old victim followed the orders and then verified that the two payments were both picked up at a Walmart in Arkansas.
Police learned that a woman by the name of Vicki Viddler picked the payments up in a small town called Morrilton, about 55-miles East of Little Rock, Arkansas. One of the payments was taken at register 93 and the second from register 91 at Walmart. After the payments were picked up, the victim received a third call stating that another $300 needed to be sent via Western Union to a Mr. Asanni Markland in Queens, New York. Without further questions, the victim complied and headed to the Kroger store on Old Fort Parkway in Murfreesboro. However, Western Union would not allow for the money to be sent saying that Asanni Markland had too much money being sent to him indicating that a scam may be taking place.
The victim called the police shortly after the trip to the local grocery store to report the scam. Of course, the victim never received the promised $2.5 million or the new Mercedes Benz. The case has been labeled by the Murfreesboro Police Department as "Fraud."
MPD Incident #15-10700