The name Publishers Clearing House is such a well recognized brand, welcomed and trusted in so many homes, that it is often illegally used by scam artists in an attempt to fraudulently con consumers for the sole purpose of soliciting cash.  PCH would like to remind you to BEWARE OF SCAMS posing as legitimate sweepstakes.  Scammers may email you or send you a letter ‘claiming’ to be from Publishers Clearing House.  Oftentimes, scammers may send out real-looking checks in an attempt to get you to send money. Using a variety of false promises, the scammers will ultimately ask you to send money in order to claim a non-existent prize.  If you receive such a contact, DO NOT send or wire money!  At Publishers Clearing House the winning is always FREE and it is never necessary to pay any money to enter or win our famous PCH Sweepstakes!

PCH has been actively attacking scams like these working with law enforcement and undertaking a number of comprehensive consumer protection programs.  From an educational standpoint we have posted alerts in our mail and on our website at pch.com.  We have recorded anti-scam messages on our toll-free customer service lines reminding all callers that if it is not free it is not a legitimate prize.  We ask consumers to provide us details of the scams and PCH keeps track of these reported incidents through a comprehensive anti-scam database.  Working closely with law enforcement and consumer protection groups, we continually share information with these valued partners in an effort to assist in targeting scammers and attempting to bring them to justice. Among others, PCH has worked closely with the Federal Trade Commission,  Postal Inspection Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the US Attorney’s Office.  We are also pleased to be a member of the Consumer Federation of America’s Fake Check Task Force that brings together leading industry, consumer protection and not-for-profit groups to brainstorm on efforts to target and reduce these scams.

PCH is pleased to add a new weapon in the fight against fraud by becoming a designated contributor to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Database Network.  Consumer Sentinel, maintained by the FTC, is a secure online database of consumer complaints available only to law enforcement.  Law enforcement officials from all around the country use the information in this national database to enhance and coordinate sweepstakes fraud investigations.  Publishers Clearing House is proud to be one of a select group of corporate entities that contributes to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Database!

Remember, if you receive a contact from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, and you are asked to send or wire money to claim a prize, DO NOT!  If you believe you have been the victim of a fraudulent contact using the name of Publishers Clearing House, please contact us at 1-800-392-4190.  Or, if you receive a suspicious email fraudulently claiming to be from PCH, PCHLotto or PCHSearch&Win, please forward it to our fraud reporting mailbox, abuse@pch.com.  

At PCH we care about consumers and are committed to helping you stay safe, informed and protected! 


Margaret Crossan

PCH Consumer Affairs Department


  1. A.M. Calhoun says:

    My wife received a call from a man with a thick accent claiming to be Mr. David Kennedy saying she had won a prize of $285,000 from Publisher’s Clearing House. She turned the phone over to me. He took me through a long process saying everyone who wins a PCH prize must go through. Then he said to go to any local CVS, Rite Aid, or Radio Shack and pay $5 for a claimer’s card greendotmoneypak scratch card, on which would be put the amount of $399 to pay for the state registration of the prize. I kept asking why the $399 and kept getting the same run around. When I refused to pay anything I was told “God is trying to give you a gift. Don’t you want to receive a gift from God?” That really angered me. He said, “Do you want the prize or not?” And I said, “Not if I have to put out any money.” I even mentioned fraud and scams and he assured me this was legitimate. I asked him how I would know that to which he replied I should trust him. He said, “You could be my Daddy or Granddaddy and I would advise you to take this prize.” It went on and on. Finally I said I wasn’t interested and hung up. It wasn’t two minutes before a supervisor calling himself Mr. David Sayer called and tried to argue and guilt me into paying the $399 fee going through the same kind of arguments the previous man had including invoking the name of God. You will recognize that name on PCH contest notifications. I told him that this is the way scammers talk and he got angry implying I was ungrateful and tried to get me to answer questions about my personal finances which I refused to answer saying he could help me figure out a way to pay the $399. . I shouldn’t have stayed on this conversation as long as I did but I wanted to see what information I could get to report. I tried the PCH number to report this but was told to call back later because all the lines were busy and all available personnel would be occupied for some time. CONCUMERS BEWARE!

  2. Jan says:

    Received a call from “Paul Nelson” claiming to be with “publishers clearing house” yet when I asked him to repeat the company later in the call he went “uuuhh….. oh! publishers clearing house!” He claimed that I had won 3 million for “shopping locally and using my debit card” and that I had to put $290 on a green dot money card for 1% of taxes…lol! nice math… anyway, they’ll give you their badge number and a serial # etc for the check but it’s totally a scam.

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