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

276 thoughts on “Publishers Clearing House Scam Buster Tips”

  1. says:

    I supposedly won a $10 gift card on one of the slots and when I hit the claim button the website miraculously had technical difficulties and I had way go back and get that supposed won prize. Just like the claw game 4 times now has dropped the cash bag that it picked up but yet it can hold on to bags of tokens. PCH itself is a hoax. So if someone is impersonating PCH I find it ironic that someone is trying to run a hoax on a hoax. My phone records my screen so I have all their Web games recorded and what they do and how they are rigged so that combined with the reverse engineered website code that I completed will catch an attorneys attention. I know I ain’t going to win no 7000 a week for life and anyone else who thinks they will is delusional. Hell they can’t even honor a 10 dollar gift card that I probably not supposed to win but their rigged website glitched and actually made me a winner of something besides tokens so then the website glitched again so I couldn’t claim it when I hit the claim button and it’s all recorded on my phone. The whole PCH sweepstakes hoax is to get people to spend money with them or their advertisers. Thats why they say “a purchase won’t increase your chances of winning”, because you agony going to win anyway! It’s amazing how I have left three comments this blog spilling the truth but not one them are posted. But, I have screen shots and screen recordings of the comments being left and of them being found nowhere in blog. So in May after their supposed drawing going with all this to a lawyer.

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