Woman nearly falls for elaborate scam on Facebook - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Woman nearly falls for elaborate scam on Facebook

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A CBS News 8 viewer is trying to warn others about an elaborate Facebook scam she almost fell for.

Donna Smith says she received Facebook messages saying she won a million dollar prize but then all of a sudden realized she was being duped.

The excitement that comes from winning it big is something Donna Smith was convinced she'd experience.

"When I asked them if they were sure that I was a prize winner and this was real, they persisted to tell me it was real, not fake, and I was an official prize winner," she said. 

That Facebook message was sent to Smith four days ago from someone claiming to be Danielle Lam, a well-known Publishers Clearing House personality.

"First, they sent me a picture of a blank check saying congratulations...you just won the million dollar prize. This is all yours. Can I have your full name?"

Smith provided her name.

Shortly after, she received a picture. Other photos followed, including one supposedly showing the prize patrol getting ready to deliver the check to her Los Angeles area home.

"That's when it started getting convincing because they said they were one hour and 45 minutes away," she said. 

Smith admits she started preparing for their arrival. That is -- until she got another message -- asking that she pay $199 for a prepaid money card to go towards fees and taxes.

"At that point, I started realizing that it sounded kinda iffy," Smith said. 

That's when she knew, she was about to get scammed.

Turns out, Smith isn't alone. Publishers Clearing House has posted several videos detailing the crime and warning fans about what to look out for.

Smith, who has been a Publishers Clearing House fan for years, believes the scammers target people who comment on the PCH Facebook page. And that page has more than 1.2 million likes.

Which is exactly why she wants other fans to be aware.

"It was so convincing," she said. 

Publishers Clearing House maintains all of their giveaways are surprises.

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