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

323 thoughts on “Publishers Clearing House Scam Buster Tips”

  1. this person sent me a message saying I won $1,000,000.00. this is a scammer and hope you catch them…..Liz Sataraka I am a Homeland Security Sgt. and know this is definitely a scam….Thanks George Fontaine,Jr.

  2. Michael brown says:

    I was scamed

    1. Michael brown says:

      I took screen shots bit dont know how to post them

  3. tanya thurman says:

    I was content by this lady name Danielle..she message me thru fb.and said I won ..and wanted me to send money..for them to meet to give me my winning..I told her I didn’t have money to send..she said her manager wanted to talk to me so he called me told me to log out of fb..until I received the winning.and I had to pay 167.0 to receive the winning..i didn’t think this sounds right so I call line and it told me don’t send money……i knew it was fake….they called from ny

  4. I was contacted by Facebook from supposedly PCH and then got a call from a guy said his name was Bob Green hello I would like somebody to contact me back to go over the information they give me so I can verify whether I just got scammed or not

  5. Greg S says:

    received a phone call from ” Michael Anderson with Publishers Clearing House ” advising I had won 1.5 million dollars and a Mercedes. when asked how I knew if this was legit he said the phone call was being recorded by the FBI and U.S. Marshals. Asked for a number to call to verify , he gave me 876 xxx xxxx which when googled with his name brings up rip off reports on this scam.

    1. PCH Staff PCH Staff says:

      Hello Greg, I am really happy that you did your research and found out that was not the real PCH who contacted you! We never notify major winners over the phone or through standard mail, email or Facebook. We would really appreciate if you would send us the details of this scam call you received by following this link: Stay safe!

  6. Greg zaifert says:

    To give them 89.999 in a MoneyGram a money order and I told them while talking to them I don’t have that kind of money

  7. Greg zaifert says:

    It happened to me again just what you been saying sweetie they told me i win the PCH sweepstakes and they told me i send a MoneyGram or money order delivery driver told me to give my number so he could talk to me so he can make sure I’d be home to get my prize Facebook her name is this Danielle Lamm and I gave her my phone number for delivery guy who picked up the phone who works for you guys and his number is this 607-55360 Lansing NY I am very upset and a real life I do have a learning disability really bad

  8. ron leslie says:

    I am a veteran a guy claimed to be david william said send him money i won 20 million and dis not deliver. A police office showed at my door said someone using my address was using it to defraud the elderly of money

  9. Kim Doskocil says:

    My in laws got a call from 18763532822 claiming to be David Rogers from PCH and they won 2.5 million. They wanted 199.99 then 1000.00. Kept calling and said they would meet them somewhere. They were “close” but then couldn’t go to the meeting until they received the money.

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