TOWN OF MERRILL — Police are warning residents about a sweepstakes fraud that nearly ensnared a town of Merrill man over the weekend.

The man called police after he was contacted by someone claiming to represent Publishers Clearing House, who told the man he had won a new car and $1 million. In order to claim the prize, the man was told he needed to buy a prepaid big box store card to pay $800 in taxes.

The caller told the man his new car and check were waiting for him in Wausau. The man’s suspicions saved him from being taken in, police said.

“Once again you are reminded when anyone calls you wanting you to get a prepaid gift card in order to pay for something, (they are) trying to steal from you,” a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department statement reads.