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

251 thoughts on “Publishers Clearing House Scam Buster Tips”

  1. SMoore says:

    Today was my lucky day. I got a call from James Kennedy representing PCH at 876-521-8958 congratulating me on my $2.5M and a new car. He told me I would need to call him back in 10 minutes to claim my prize! That was 15 minutes ago. Too bad for me. Share your experience as much as possible. Don’t let you friends and family become victims. There is a special place for people like James.

  2. Althea Soltis says:

    I have been contacted from Jamaica for at least 3 yrs now. I gave the numbers to the do not call list but did not work since they steal cell phones. I finally called PCH and they put the warning out. Guess what? I get a call Thanksgiving morning and one every day. Today at 8:00 a.m. and he called me sweet heart. I did not have my glasses on so could not read the number on my phone. His name is Joseph Rogers.

  3. Amy DOZIER says:

    Hello my name is Amy DOZIER and I to was scammed today….sending $200.00 on a sceatch card from walgreens….sad thing is ….no matter what or if I win I plan on helping my family with to brothers in need of heart surgery…SMH …I can’t believe people are so cruel….GOD SEES ALL…..I TOLD THEM I WILL BE PRAYING FOR THEIR SOULS….

  4. Kisha says:

    It is a page with Danielle on it saying she working behind the scenes and taking a early look at entries telling you have won. She will friend request you but only inbox you messages

  5. david pecore says:

    11/14/14, 10 AM. My name is David and I was just contacted about being a 2.58 milloin dollar winner. The person I talked name is Ralph Sanchez phone number 876-490-7790. I was asked to go to Wallgreens and purchase a green doc scratch card for $480.00 and give it to the Fedex man that is to deliver my certifed check for payment of the delivery. The phone number that I was contacted from Fedex is 876-470-3250. This number I am sure is Ralph’s partner. 10-30AM. Contacted by Ralph again I told him that I had contacted PCH and was informed that they do not call winners or ask for delivery money, and also had reported him to the Federal Trade Comission.

  6. robert says:

    Hello i have been a long time fan and player of pch but within these last couple months i have been getting facebook requests dont worry i havent got scammed or lost any money but i try to get information for you guys since its a problem i was able to get a phone number said to be danielle lams (619) 2683484 as of today september 11 2014 at 10:05 am itd still activated from yours sincerly robert oliver i hope your able to track this phone number and bust them and if i come acrossed anymore l report them to you.

  7. Its 9/7/14 and I received an email from PCH saying my order for a “Telescope Cleaner” has been shipped – This is a fraud as I didnt order this and I especially DON’T have a telescope Please check into this – I will “return to sender” the package when I receive package
    Thank you

  8. irwin says:

    it’s never a time to give up!

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