A Rossville, Georgia woman is coming forward to warn others about a fake Publishers Clearing House scam.
A persistent caller recently contacted Julie Thurman to say she had won a nearly one-million dollar prize.
“I asked what happened to them coming up with balloons and knocking on your door and surprising you. He said we don't do that anymore," Thurman told Channel 3.
The caller said Thurman needed to buy a $500 gift card from a local retailer and call him back with the card’s number before she could claim the prize.
She said the request raised a red flag.
The Better Business Bureau says the way people are being scammed continues to change.
“The person on the other line has already shopped and they know what they are going to buy right away so as soon as they get that number from you they’re ready to go. The money is stolen and can’t be traced,” said Jim Winsett with the Chattanooga Better Business Bureau.
Thurman says she contacted law enforcement to report the scam.
She didn’t fall prey and she’s hoping others won’t either.
Many retailers have taken steps to stop gift card scams.
Some retailers have established policies to make them non-refundable.
A corporate spokesperson for Target told Channel 3 the company has limits on gift card purchase amounts.
According to the Publisher’s Clearing House website, it delivers prizes free of charge to winners and large prize winners will be notified in person.