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 http://help.pch.com/consumer.

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, abuse@pch.com.

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

 

 

 

Margaret Crossan

PCH Consumer Affairs Department


249 thoughts on “Publishers Clearing House Scam Buster Tips”

  1. LARRY H. VANDERBOSCH says:

    I RECIEVED REEQUEST FROM PRIA FOR DATA TO BE RETURNED WITH $20. NO CONNECTION WITH MY $2M SWEEPSTAKE WAS EVIDENT OR PUB.CLEARING HOUSE AFFILIATION. DO YOU THINK THIS IS A SCAM?

    1. Victoria At PCH Victoria At PCH says:

      Hi Larry,

      We would like to help you with this issue, but we will need more information than we can gather through the Blog. Please send us a message using our Ask Us page found here: http://pch.custhelp.com/app/ask so that we can look into this for you.

      Victoria At PCH

      1. lisa garrett says:

        i was just scamed yesterday saying i won 2 million dallars and 5,0000 for life.. and that they were be here in 1 hour and 30 mins to give my winning to me..i had my hopes up for notthing..
        they told me i had to go get a confirmation card ! and why do i need one for..i was crying because i thought it was real..nope it was a scarm…now im really upset…..
        thank for getting hurt for notthing..lisa garrett.

      2. PCH Staff PCH Staff says:

        Lisa,

        We’re so sorry that the scammer contacted you. Remember, you never have to pay to claim a PCH prize and never give out any personal information!

  2. Barbara Champion says:

    Barbara C said
    December 8, 2011

    In the last 10 days I have received 2 e-mail letters from 3 different people on letterheah from PCH each claiming something different of my winning. After yelling for joy & my heart racing madly I reread & sent a reply to the addresse asking if this was for real. No reply. The 2nd came & although it was similar I realized I was being scammed. When this last arrived I called PCH & asked to speak to Mr Van Peter. Guess what! No such person. They gave me 3 things I could do. I chose to stay calm and went on to search & win where I found your site & the good tips. I’ll wait for your knock on my door & continue playing your games & entering to become a BIG WINNER. Happy Holidays.

  3. I’m so glad I read about this scam thing this have happen to me before. They had said I won 250.000 dollar and I was very happy to her that but they was saying I need to wire them money and I started asking question and they stop email me. And I’m so glad that I didn’t do. I would have been very upset.

    1. Victoria At PCH Victoria At PCH says:

      Hi Lucinda,

      If you still have the email correspondence, please feel free to forward it to us at abuse@pch.com. We also suggest that you report this occurrence to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Thank you,
      Victoria At PCH

      1. christian bryan payor says:

        i recieved a mail from PCH, but im from the philippines, is it possible that it is legit?

      2. Victoria At PCH Victoria At PCH says:

        Hi Christian,

        Only residents of the United States and Canada are eligible to win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes at this time. If you are currently in the Philippines, then the mail you received was most likely not legitimate. If you feel that you are the victim of a scam, you can report the incident to us at our toll-free number 1-800-392-4190. We also suggest that you report it to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

        Victoria At PCH

  4. Jason says:

    I received a letter from National Direct Inc stating I won $68,000.00 from PCH along with a check to cover tax and insurance. I knew this was a scam. There were many clues. The letter was mailed from Canada with no forwarding address, the letter has a New York address and the check from Regional Managment Inc has an address in Maryland. Also, the check’s routing, account and check number were out of sequence for a U.S. check. Plus, the letter had obvious grammatical errors and the check amount did not match the amount mentioned in the letter. Also, I know I do not have to pay to claim a prize. Not to mentioned I did not enter into a PCH sweepstakes. I just want others to aware of this scam.

    1. Laura At PCH Laura At PCH says:

      Hi Jason,

      That is definitely a scam! I’m so glad you weren’t fooled. PCH, like any legitimate Sweepstakes, will never ask you to pay any fee or make a purchase to claim a prize. You may report this occurrence to us at abuse@pch.com or call our toll-free number 1-800-392-4190. We also recommend that you report this incident to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Laura At PCH

  5. Teresa Burkhart says:

    Thank you so much for your advice. I was almost scammed yesterday for $495,000, if my daughter would not of looked further into it, thee’s no telling ewhat could of happened. Thanks PCH for having websites like this so many people won’t end up in trouble. These scammers are good, they even have the background noise so it makes it seem even more real. Too bad we can’t have them all arrested.

  6. Joe Rucker says:

    I just received a call from a person saying he was from the National Trade Commission and that they have been trying to contact me about my PCH winnings of 3.6 million. and asked me to purchase $500.00 money card for “verification fees” I knew it was a scam when…
    1. The call was from Kingston Jamaica
    2.National Trade Commission?
    3.Purchase a $500.00 card
    If you see this number 876-445-8490
    do not answer !

    1. Victoria At PCH Victoria At PCH says:

      Hello Joe,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This is indeed a scam. The offer you’re describing did not come from Publishers Clearing House. PCH does not notify winners by phone. Also, there is never a catch with entering or winning any PCH Sweepstakes. PCH, like any legitimate Sweepstakes, will never ask you to pay any fee or make a purchase to claim a prize. You may report this occurrence to us using our toll-free number 1-800-392-4190. We also recommend that you report this incident to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Victoria At PCH

  7. Donya Escalante says:

    Dear PCH,
    This past Friday, Oct 7, 2011 by a Delores Masters who claimed to be from PCH and was making arrangements to deliver $900,050 tax free dollars to the lady I am caregiver for. Asked if we had recieved the notification letter last month and stated she had spoken to my lady last month as well. First she was wanting %595 for legal fees to be delivered to the American First Cargo courier that would come to her home on whatever date we chose Told her she didn’t have it and we still needed a oouple hundred to finish groceries for the month. Then it changed to $195 in a moneypak to be given. I told her they could just take the fee from the money we were going to recieve because we weren’t paying until teh money clears. “It may take a couple of days…” The number given was 305-909-7592 ext 93, which does happen to be in Florida. As you say, if the money is legit, there should be no additional fees or they should take it out of the winnings. Thanks for reverifying my thinking.

    1. Victoria At PCH Victoria At PCH says:

      Hello Donya,

      You are absolutely correct that there is never any purchase necessary to enter or to win a PCH prize. The offer you’re describing did not come from the real Publishers Clearing House. Publishers Clearing House does not notify winners by phone. Also, there is never a catch with entering or winning any PCH Sweepstakes. PCH, like any legitimate Sweepstakes, will never ask you to pay any fee or make a purchase to claim a prize. You may report this occurrence to us using our toll-free number 1-800-392-4190. We also recommend that you report this incident to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Best Wishes,
      Victoria At PCH

  8. I am a individual who can smell a scam. Today I received many telephone calls from a man using the name Michael Williams stating that I had won $100,000 from Publishers Clearing House. The catch …when he comes to my home with an armed security guard I have to give him $800.00 for a tax payment. I said I had to verify his identity with Publishers Clearing ouse. He gave me the number 1-509-671-9589 (supposedly PCH headquarters) where I spoke to Mr. William Ford. He verified that money was due at the time of delivery. I am reporting them to the BBB and want everyone to know the alias’ they are using and the fake number they are using misrepresenting PCH.

    1. Laura At PCH Laura At PCH says:

      Hi Charlene,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This is definitely a scam. Publishers Clearing House does not notify winners by phone. Also, there is never a catch with entering or winning any PCH Sweepstakes. PCH, like any legitimate Sweepstakes, will never ask you to pay any fee or make a purchase to claim a prize. You may report this occurrence to us using our toll-free number 1-800-392-4190. We also recommend that you report this incident to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Laura At PCH

  9. Tamara Cote says:

    This just happened to me and I almost fell for it but when I call and ask for a website to look at or some legitimate information in writing the person hung up on me. This person told me that I had won 3 million dollars but the only thing I had to do was pay a tiny fee of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. ha. right. I thought something was fishy. If I won 3 million dollars then why would I have to pay out one thousand?
    This is a real thing people, don’t fall for it.

    1. Victoria At PCH Victoria At PCH says:

      Hi Tamara,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and it is indeed a scam. That offer did not come from Publishers Clearing House. PCH does not notify winners by phone. Also, there is never a catch with entering or winning any PCH Sweepstakes. PCH, like any legitimate Sweepstakes, will never ask you to pay any fee or make a purchase to claim a prize. You may report this occurrence to us using our toll-free number 1-800-392-4190. We also recommend that you report this incident to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Victoria At PCH

      1. Rita Hills says:

        Fraud.org looks like a fake website, it is poorly formatted and many of the links do not work or are null. there must be a more professional and reputable site where we can notify of fake check fraud.

  10. Hello
    aug 31 2011 draws near and its coming to my house here in bangor maine 04401,
    The prize patrol knocks at my door and i ————faint, when i awake they told me i won the big check for life ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, i dream it now, and my unemployment problems are solved for ever. i don’t have to beg any business to give me a job any more . prize patrol, the stories you read are true and sad and if i had any say with this contest we would all take turns winning big . thank you spirit in the sky. i pray to it all the time,,,
    Oh i did have to ask does the prize patrol drive from new york or where ever or do they fly? thanks
    see ya soon
    eillther a fan for twenty two yrs.

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