Publishers Clearing House Scam Buster Tips

Publishers Clearing House scam warning: Beware fake check scams are on the rise! At PCH – as with any legitimate sweepstakes company – the winning is always free!

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 fill out a Scam Incident Report.   If you receive a suspicious email fraudulently claiming to be from PCH, PCHLotto or PCHSearch&Win, please fill out a Scam Incident Report.

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




Margaret Crossan

PCH Consumer Affairs Department

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  1. We just received a phone call from David Hunter [Jamaica] 876-867-1416. We listened just to see what he was going to say. After at least 10 minutes of talking on and on he says to pay nearly $4000 to cover registration and IRS fees. We were asked to speak to the general manager who did not give his name. eventually we hung up. He called back and said we were rude to hang up especially since we had just won $3.5 mil. I asked why it had changed because it had been $7.5 mil. When I said he wasn’t the IRS this was actually a scam he spat out a filthy remark and hung up. This is not a very good advertisement for PCH.

  2. My mother in law just got a letter in the mail. Claiming that she won $600,000. She called the rep Roberto Diaz and he gave her instructions to be very confidential and do let anyone know of her winnings. He didn’t ask for any of her personal information nor did he ask her to send any money.. The only thing they asked her was how would she like to receive her winnings and for an address so that the “prize patrol” can do a live filming of her receiveing her check..

  3. PCH is sending small checks to my mother, are they legit? They are small refund cks that I put in my bank. Am I at risk

  4. I got a Call from someone name Peter white saying he’s from pch and that I won 2.5 million dollars but want me to pay a $5k tax…. Saying the money will to transfer to my account when I pay at the Western Union..

  5. John Bill more has been contacting me phone number 1-876-854-2186 wanted me to pay $150 for $2.5 million. Sounds like a scam😡

  6. do they tell you thru Facebook I had someone by the name of John Williams I was just scared I have been scammed before so I thought he might not be who he said he was now he took me off and stop talking to be I just did not want to lose any more money by wiring money If he was up and up why did he cut me off and how do you know who is the person you r really talking to I lost a 1000 dollars before and it hurt do not want to be taken again please responded back

  7. Do you have a James Edwards working for you. I have a e-mail claiming I one two and a half million dollars. plus other things. Thank you, Dale

      1. I got a email from John Brown say i won 25000.00 and car. Had the PCH logo. And i really thought i won . Why do these people destory your heart like the. I was so happy to think i can get my nephews and me a home. Then i thought why would PCH email me they just show up were you live. Dream destoryed people are mean.

      2. My mother received a call from someone claiming they were from PCH and that she won 3.5 million dollars did not ask for money, didnt ask to pay any taxes did not ask for credit card or any other info except an address to bring the check…. Is this ligit. Please tell me it is because we are desperate

      3. Hi Arntz! That is not the real PCH calling her; it’s a scammer that’s only pretending to be from PCH. Do not give the scammer any personal info including bank account information, and definitely do not send them any money if they ask. If you haven’t already done so, please report that scam contact to us via the following link: I encourage you to read these Safety Tips too: Please be careful everyone; don’t become a scammer’s victim!

      4. we got a phone call today from a James Edwards stating My fiance won a 1.5 million. never asked for any money. is there a James Edwards at pch?