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

242 thoughts on “Publishers Clearing House Scam Buster Tips”

  1. Candy says:

    I just got called and they were trying to scam me into wiring $300 and said I won $1,000,000,000 and 5000 a month for life. Said it was pch. How sick some people are to try to get money out of unsuspecting people!

  2. SDee Diaz says:

    .. On Saturday, July 26, 2014 11:44 AM, wrote:

    Congratulations You Have Won $1,000,000.00 USD from PCH LOTTO, below are the claim Requirement. Email us back:
    Name in Full=== Address== Mobile No.==== Sex==== Occupation==== Country====

    Yours Sincerely
    Mr.Dave Sayer

    This Was My Reply :::
    Sandra Diaz as on my profile with Publishers Clearing house … .. Address is in S Florida USA as on my Profile with Publishers Clearing House …call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX .. that is my only number

    THIS Just Proves these Scam Fraud Come From PCH … There is no other reason anyone would know I do the ” search ” with PCH ..
    I Seriously do NOT Believe any of the Sweepstakes are REAL .. I am gathering the Email I recieve and next time my local station advertises one of the PCH Sweepstakes I am giving them the proof of these Fraud Scam Sweepstakes .
    so the old saying any advertisement is good will become PCH Issues

    1. PCH Staff PCH Staff says:

      Emails that come from PCH do not come from Outlook email addresses.

      Publishers Clearing House (PCH) does NOT send e-mails notifying consumers that they have won a major prize. If you win a major prize in our sweepstakes our PCH Prize Patrol will contact you in person. For smaller prizes (usually less than $1,000.00), winners are notified by overnight delivery services (FedEx, UPS), certified mail, or email in the case on online giveaways.

      PCH does NOT send e-mails requesting personal banking or financial information in connection with a prize. If you receive an e-mail seeking your bank account, checking account, social security number or other financial information, BEWARE.
      If you are contacted about winning a prize but are required to buy something, pay a fee, tax or processing cost, STOP. You have not heard from a legitimate sweepstakes and it’s certainly not from the “real” Publishers Clearing House!

  3. Pamela Bailey says:

    Hello my name is Pamela Bailey I was inbox this morning by a person claiming they were Danielle Lam From Pch And told me I won 2,000 and 10,000 a month for life. And said I needed to go to one of theses locations to purchase a Money Pak Scratch Card 1] CVS located at 1200 First Street N E, 2] 7 Eleven located at 1315 2nd Street N. E.3] 7 Eleven at 2230 New York Ave. N E I was toid I had to pay up front the processing fee of $389.99 is this a scam or is this legitimate I like a fool went to the 7 Eleven on New York Ave but they did not have the Money Pak Scratch Card please I would appreciate if someone get back to me asap. As I said this happen to me today July 16, 2014 thanks.

  4. Dotty Harr says:

    I received a call from “PCH” before 8am this morning. His name is supposedly Roy Jones. Said he had been trying to reach me for a couple of days. because I have won
    7.000.00 a month for life, in a second place prize. they are from Westchester, NY, but
    avoided giving me any other information. Said I had one a Cadillac, and the money. But I needed to send him 595.00 for shipping & Handling. I told him I really don’t feel
    comfortable with this, because I think It must be a scam. He said NO MAM it is not a
    scam. He wanted to know if I had a credit card. Said he would email me the Record of
    what and why I have won this prize and show in the email the check. (he, he)…I said ok
    do that. But I assured them that I did not have 595.00 to give him when he arrived w/
    the car etc…. Said he would go with me to the bank to take 5.5% from the check to pay the taxes etc. God help me I can’t believe I just didn’t say NO THanks and hang up.

  5. Bertony says:

    If i win bring my check home

  6. SDee Diaz says:

    Publisher Clearing house Giveaway 3080 that was 2 mil + Car + $10,000 that IS to Be Awarded on June 30th 2014 ..
    NOW today the NEW Sweepstakes 3080 that is $5000 a week for Life Then $5000 a Week for Life for Someone of Chose ..
    Sooooooo the Giveaway 3080 That has NOT even happened YET is NOW Changed to A Different Sweepstakes
    Publisher Clearing House .. Really .. These Emails are Proof of the Fraud being Done By Publishers Clearing House …

  7. John Capet says:

    I have been told before that I won money through phc but never got any money I didn’t know how to get ahold of any one working for pch to find out if it was real or not but it had the pch logo I forget how much it was for and it some how got deleted so I cant prove what im saying. But I could have the only ticket in a box and still come out the loser I never win any thing I don’t know if you are scaming people to get them to buy what ever you have to offer my dad play pch for many year before he died and never won any thing from you ive play for almost as many year and have even won nothing and problem never will that why I also think you just scam people to get there money I might be wrong but that not very often


  9. Bruce says:

    867-804-3281 Jamaica, they called me saying the same thing as the last PCH teller,
    i won a free vehicle with some amount of cash with it and another cash amount with that, but i would of have to some cash for shipping cost for the vehicle to be sent to me.
    do you guys make those kinds of offers?

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