Publishers Clearing House Scam Buster Tips

Publishers Clearing House scam warning:  Beware fake check scams are on the rise!

Fake check schemes, where consumers are lured into accepting phony checks in return for sending or wiring cash to a fraudster, can prove costly to unsuspecting consumers.  These check scams are the most frequently reported scam complaints.  And, many use “sweepstakes” as a ruse – telling victims they have won millions of dollars but must first pay taxes or other fees out of the advance check, before they can claim the rest of the prize.  Don’t believe it!  At Publishers Clearing House – as with any legitimate sweepstakes company – the winning is always free!

In these difficult economic times, Publishers Clearing House Scam Busters want to remind you to be wary of sweepstakes offers that may sound too good to be true.  Many consumers are looking for new and different ways to make ends meet and may be tempted to believe an offer they would otherwise not even consider. 

Here are three very important tips to avoid getting scammed:

  1. If someone sends you a check and asks you to send money back in return, don’t! – If you are told you have won a prize and are asked to cash a check and send or wire money back, do not! The check is a fake.  Legitimate sweepstakes will never ask you to pay a fee to claim a prize.
  2. If the company name sounds familiar or legitimate and you assume you can trust it, think again!  – Scammers oftentimes use the names of legitimate companies in an attempt to deceive and gain consumers trust.  Criminals will pretend to be affiliated with well-known, recognized and trusted brand names.  Always contact the legitimate company and talk to one of their representatives.
  3. If someone asks you to wire money to claim a sweepstakes prize, don’t!Most scammers will advise consumers to wire money via a money-transfer service.  Con-artists want money sent to them via a money-transfer service because it’s quick, it’s cash and it’s virtually impossible to trace and recover.  Wiring money is like sending cash and once it’s gone, it’s usually gone.

As members of the Consumer Federation of America’s Fake Check task force which runs under the auspices of the National Consumers League, we work together to reduce these scams. At PCH we take consumer protection and the fraudulent use of our good name very seriously and go to great lengths to combat these scams and protect our customers.  You can read more at

Remember, at Publishers Clearing House, the winning is always free.  If you are ever asked to send or wire money to claim a sweepstakes prize, you are being scammed. It’s just that simple! 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.   If you receive a suspicious email fraudulently claiming to be from PCH, PCHLotto or PCHSearch&Win, forward it to our Publishers Clearing House scam reporting mailbox,

Visit us online at and click on our Customer Service/Info Center for more sweepstakes scam protection tips!




Margaret Crossan

PCH Consumer Affairs Department

294 thoughts on “Publishers Clearing House Scam Buster Tips”

  1. carla m antee says:


  2. I aiiway play but never win

  3. Brenda Hibler says:

    I received a call at 7:45 this morning from a lisa morgan. I had won 3rd place in a drawing . She mentioned something about pch had dropped off a check and a mercedes Benz for them to deliver today . She gave two sets of numbers and letter to right down and if I had picture id to present when they arrived ad did i i want this to be in the paper or confidential. They would have the fbi watch over me until I could get the check to the bank. Then came the part wiring almost $500.00. I told her I thought this was a scam. She said oh no we will be there at 12:00 today .they was supposed to have been at the Nashville airport as we spoke. Thanks to the internet I looked up lisa morgan and a post from facebook popped up. Thank you Kathleen Reich for posting this .

  4. I,myself sometimes have doubt in the privacy of all our infirmation!!!!!

  5. olivia says:

    I think I just got scammed the man called me on 5/29/15 said his name was Bob Miller . said I had won the 2 million dollar sweep stakes and a bmw and 10 thousand dollars a week for life I had just got paid on friday I was so ecited because I have been playing the publishers clearing house everyday for a long time and I thought it was true. he told me if I wanted to recive the money and car I would have to go to the bank to pay for the fees I can’t remember what for now but then he also called me later when I got off work to go get a loan out that I can not pay for but I belevied him so I did that too and he keeps on calling me at all hours of the day says its not a scam but then he called me this morning and wants to know how much I have left in my bank account and then asked me if I could take out my life savings and I told him no. And if it was true I had won a sweep stakes then for him to deliver it to my home when I got off of work if not to stop calling me the number he is calling me is restricted but he left me a # 516-734-5733 to call him and the message with Bob Lazarus clearning House and to just leave a message. I am so so upset because now I have to pay for a loan that I did not need I am currant living with my mom and now have to make up all the money I lost just to pay for a loan I can not afford and save up again so my husband and my boys can move out now I have to go home today and tell my husband what happen. and i am so sure he is going to be so so so upset with me. but I will still keep my faith and keep on playing and maybe I will win a real jackpot,

  6. Hi, I’m getting multiple calls now from Jamaica saying I won lots of money & a Mercades but need me to send $190 per Western Union to Jason Brown in Jamaica or $375 to Marian Jenkins in Queens ville NY He swears it’s not a scam. Any ideas? Their #s are 876 467 6164 & 867 447 5301.

    1. PCH Staff PCH Staff says:

      Hi Garry – That was not the real PCH — That was a scammer impersonating a PCH employee! PCH never contacts winners in advance and you never have to pay to claim a PCH prize! Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who impersonate PCH employees to try and get our fan’s personal information and money. The only way you would know if you won is by the Prize Patrol showing up at your door. Do not give scammers any of your personal information or money! Please be careful and be aware of scammers online by familiarizing yourself with our “Fraud Protection” page ( and always report scammer encounters to

  7. a says:

    a man name david Jackson saying he’s from PCH 1-876-389-2850. after she told him he was a scammer. he told her F/U Bit_H. this is crazy they need to put a stop to this some how.

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