But the caller reassured him, the call was legitimate. There was just one more thing. 

In order to claim the winnings, Billie and Gaylon would need to purchase a MoneyPak gift card loaded with $350.

“He says, ‘Well this is to cover the taxes on the money your wife is going to get,’” Gaylon recalled the man saying. 


Gaylon said the man was convincing. He promised the winnings in exchange for the card. 

“So, I really got caught up into it,” said Gaylon. “I went to town, picked up the card and brought it back.” 


The man soon called back, that’s when Gaylon knew things just weren't right. He asked Gaylon to read him the card number over the phone. 

“I said, ‘I won't do that.’”


That seemed to be a deal breaker for the man who said he represented Publisher’s Clearing House. Gaylon realized he'd almost been taken for that $350. 

But he said he remembered stories like our station’s Scam Alerts warning folks about giving information over the phone.

“I feel sorry for anyone who might not have the astute-ness to not give the number,” he said. 

The fake calls are going around. Publisher's Clearing House warned about this scam on its own blog. It was a close call for the Thomas family. 

“I only wish I hadn't went and had the money downloaded,” said Gaylon, referring to the card.