PCH Scam Alert: Are You Aware of the Signs?

Does this sound familiar to you?

You receive an email, letter or phone call claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House and informing you that you’ve won the PCH sweepstakes! To claim your prize, you must call a given number. Your heart races as you dial the number.   As you thank the person on the other end and dream about all of your plans for the money, you are hardly able to stand up!  That’s when you are told that you must do a few things before your “prize” is awarded to you.You may be asked to provide private financial information, or are told to wire or send a payment for some tax or legal fee  in order to claim your prize   The contact may provide you an address to send or wire the money.Something feels wrong but you’re torn. Should you respond or would you be missing out on the chance of a lifetime?

Here’s the correct answer: DO NOT RESPOND TO SUCH AN OFFER! If you’ve been in this situation, then you know what’s really going on here. Scammers are fraudulently using the Publishers Clearing House name, as well as the names of some of our legitimate employees,   to steal money and information from unsuspecting people.  We take consumer protection and these reports of the the abuse of our name very seriously and are committed to making sure that consumers  are not fooled by these fraudsters.  At PCH we also work closely with law enforcement around the country, providing information to fight back against the criminals!  And, we are making progress with arrests and convictions by law enforcement against these scam artists!

We know that the dream of winning the sweepstakes is alive in all of our customers and friends. We love your passion and commitment to entering. But please keep your head about you, and do not let yourself be ruled by your emotions, if you find yourself in a situation like the one mentioned above. If you feel that something isn’t right, listen to your gut! Take the time to verify the information you are being presented with.

Watch out for these warning signs. You can find more helpful information at our Consumer Affairs site:

1)      There is no catch with PCH. When we say “no purchase necessary,” we mean it. We’ll never ask you to pay a fee, send money, or make a purchase in order to enter or claim a prize.

2)      PCH winners are notified in person by the Prize Patrol or by certified mail. Publishers Clearing House does not call or email winners ahead of time. The surprised faces and screams you see on our famous television commercials are the actual moments when our lucky winners first find out they have won!  Many scammers make phone calls and claim to work at PCH. This is a huge red flag! If you won a $1,000,000.00 prize, we wouldn’t call you.  Dave Sayer, Danielle Lam, and Todd Sloane would surprise you with a Big Check.

3)      If you receive a check claiming to be from a legitimate sweepstakes and are asked to cash it and are then asked to  wire or send a portion back — STOP — you are the victim of a scam contact. The check is not real! Consumers should always remember that at Publishers Clearing House no payment or fee is ever necessary to enter or claim a prize.

4)      If you are asked to provide your credit card number or provide your financial bank account information in order to claim a sweepstakes prize — STOP. Fraudulent scam artists often request this information and then go on a spending spree with your credit card; or wipe out your bank account.

If you are ever unsure about communications from PCH, do not hesitate to contact PCH with your concerns! You can contact Customer Service by sending a message via the Ask Us page. Also, you can ask any PCH employee on Facebook: Danielle Lam, Laura Wolfe, and Victoria Zimmerman. We’re all happy to assist you!

If you believe you have been contacted by a scammer we recommend that you contact your local consumer protection officials and file a complaint with the National Fraud Information Center at www.fraud.org. Your complaint may help others and will be useful to law enforcement in stopping the scams. You may also forward the suspicious email to us at abuse@pch.com or report this occurrence to us using our toll-free number 1-800-392-4190.

Remember, if something feels wrong or doesn’t look right, think twice!

Laura At PCH

 


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Showing 47 Comments
Carlene Robinson said...

Thanks PCH, for making us aware that there are predators waiting for the chance to take advantage of you. Also,thank you for the continued trust that PCH provide ensuring us that you are, legit and care for us.

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yeni morgan said...

is good to know

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Michael Rolle said...

The Grinch is not going to steel Our Christmas The Only things Interest me is PCH.com and the happieness it brings

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maria estrella baccay platecki said...

THANKS TO YOU MAAM LAURA FOR TELLING ME I HAVE A LOT OF EMAILS AND REGISTERED MAIL THAT THEY SAY I WON BUT ANY OF THEM IV NEVER REPLY IT CAUSE I KNOW THIS IS AN SCAM AND ALSO THEY ASKING FEE FOR YOU.THE ONLY ONE I AM REPLYING FOR EMAIL OR REGISTERED MAIL IS THE PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE ONLY THATS.SOMETIMES I HAVE A LOT OF PHONE CALLS THAT THEY SAID I WON BUT THE ONLY FIRST THING THAT I SAID TO THEM IS ARE CONNECTED IN PCH THEN SUDDENLLY THEY SAID NO SO IV NEVER ENTERTAIN THEM.IF THE PCH WANTS MY MAIL I A GONNA SEND TO THEM CAUSE I HAVE SOME OF THEM.I AM VERY CAREFULL FOR MY EMAIL AND MAIL TOO.MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TOO

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Emilie said...

IMPORTANT! READ!

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tonya moore-reditt said...

P.C.H CAN YOU TELL ME IF THERE’S A PRIZE FOR CHRISTMAS AND NEWYEARS?

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    Victoria At PCH said...

    Hi Tonya,

    The next Super Prize giveaway will be in February, 2012! It will be a special early look for a $1,000,000.00 A Year For Life winner with a guaranteed prize of $1,000,000.00!

    Victoria At PCH

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kanika loeung said...

I used to be a victim to receive a fake check before I entered the PCH Sweepstakes online. They sent me a check that looked real. I contacted the company the check was from before I deposited it. However, they said to send back some of the money. I wanted to borrow some money from my relatives but it was a no-go.
A few days later I found out that the check was a fraud from the bank and I did report it to Fraud Org. The bank copied all the information on the letter and fake check that I received.

I used to play PCH Sweepstakes since 1995 by mail.
Later in June 2009, I received a fake PCH Sweepstake check. I thought it was from me playing in 1995. After that whole incident, I received a PCH e-mail. I still play everyday now I understand the truth and false about Publishers Clearance Hoouse.

I wise and hope to receive a real lucky check $1 Million and show by on TV or Online to the people who did played fraud to me. I believe they still recognize my name.

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Michelle Eaton said...

My computure is locking up telling me not to close I have won Is this a right or not

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tonya moore-reditt said...

I WILL LIKE TO KNOW IF THERES A PRIZE ON CHRISTMAS.

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    Victoria At PCH said...

    Hi Tonya,

    The next big Super Prize giveaway will be in February, 2012! It will be a special early look for a $1,000,000.00 A Year For Life winner with a guaranteed prize of $1,000,000.00!

    Victoria At PCH

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Lauralee Hensley said...

Yes, I have received emails that say I’ve one of four winners with PCHgames that have won a sharing of a million dollar prize. Yet, they always come through my junk mail. I don’t respond back because I know that’s not how PCH operates. Big prizes from PCH are not awarded via email contact. I’ve passed one of the emails onto your fraud team. It looked like it originated in NY because of the IP address. That person hadn’t blocked it from being seen, so that’s why I was able to pass that information along. Then I did a check on the internet to get a general idea where the IP address originated. There are many, many scammers working in various ways. I probably get at least 30 various scam emails per day. You really do have to understand what you are looking at, and if you don’t contact the company not via the information in the email you received, but by looking up the company’s main headquarters page on the internet and their main contact information on the company’s main page on the information you found, not via the email you received. Then email them a letter with the information you received and ask them if the letter you received (best to copy and paste the letter if you can, or give them information about what the letter contained) is a scam? Usually they’ll tell you yes it is a scam. I keep getting tons of scam letters from a so-called Barclay’s bank saying I inherited such and such, but guess what, they never address me by my name, yet they want my name. If I inherited something from someone they’d have my name and I wouldn’t have to supply it. Red Flag for a scam, they never know your name and never address you by it in the letter!!!!
I’m glad you give this information to your readers to help them protect themselves.

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S.Wright said...

as i enter i am still a bit skeptical.who can still tell if its real or not. i understand the rules/amounts/terms/ but the facts stick in my head that someone is still bothering our chances to redirect our efforts as there own. people say a voice is stronger when heard,but why not when it is written in the rules that any can apply.my name is still the same but my entries got me clueless to the direction of which i applied…….

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    Victoria At PCH said...

    Hi Shemikca,

    Your entries are specific to the giveaway number that is listed in the Sweepstakes Facts, which you can view at the time of entry. While it is true that anyone may enter the PCH Sweepstakes, each person’s individual entries are stored privately by PCH. You do not need to be concerned with anyone tampering with your entries.

    Victoria At PCH

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Sheila Winckler said...

Thanks for all the warnings about false companies, I received a phony yesterday….they wanted money for the application .. But they didn’t claim to be pch…

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Judi Harrell said...

Thanks for the information. I’ve received mail from places claiming I’m a winner, however, I must send money to process the winnings. What a scam.

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Tonshia Fluitt said...

I just want to say that I love pch & I love the deals they have on their site. I want to send my congrats out to all of the winners who’ve won over the years. I always pray that one day I will be one of those people who win $5000 a week for life. I would love to win $1,000,000 as well. This would really help me to finally pay off my debt & my parents debt. I can also move my parents out here with me. Im 40 yrs old now & I’ve always kept a job even if it was only a summer job since the age of 14. I’m just ready to one day start my own business & take care of my family without having to worry about if we can afford things. The saying for a job means Just Over Broke is true to some of us. I would probabably pass out if i saw a pch truck in front of my house. I know I would definitely cry because depending on how much I win. I know that all of my worries & my parents worries would be over. Well good luck to everyone including myself. Have a blessed day.

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Cathy Harris said...

I just had someone to contact me last month in December before the holiday claiming to be from PCH. They call and said that I had won a million dollars and gave me Mr. Dave Sawyer name and wanted me to give them 500.00 dollars, when they came to my resident to present me with my check that afternoon. Needly to say I hung the phone up right then because it did not feel right. Even though I needed the money after being unemployed for eight month pior too. Thank you for the information.

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    Victoria At PCH said...

    Hi Cathy,

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This is definitely a scam. The offer you’re describing did not come from Publishers Clearing House. PCH does not notify winners by phone. 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

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Leonora Force said...

\I received a phone call this morning from a man claiming that I had won $500,000.00 plus a car fom PCH. He wanted to deliver it tomorrow but first had some questions to ask me. I told him PCH doen’t give out cars but he said they give out everything from TV’s, camera’s, etc. The man sounded the same as the ones that called earlier last week from Winner’s Choice, Winner’s International Multi-Million Sweepstakes, Mega Million or Pennsylvania Lottery and some Sweepstakes in Nevada. He wanted to ask me some questions to verify that I was who I said I was. When he asked for the last 4 digits of my Social Security number, I told him I never give it out and that personal information like that was never given out to unknowns over the phone. He started to argue that it would not hurt anybody so I hung up. I believe it is the same man or group of men , with accents, who have called using different sweepstakes or lotteries stating different prize amounts. Either I or they hang up when I challenge them that they are scammers. I had to change my phone number a couple years ago when I was hassled with scammers. I have an unpublished phone number now but somehow they still get my number to call. I don’t know what to do, except hang up.

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    Victoria At PCH said...

    Hi Leonora,

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The offer you’re describing did not come from Publishers Clearing House. PCH does not notify winners by phone. Also, PCH would never ask for any personal information over the phone for you 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

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Shirley McElwaney said...

I would like to know if PCH is a scam or not. I supposly (sp) won a $1,000 gift card at Walmart through PCH about two weeks ago and am still waiting to se it appear. If PCH does not require a item to be bought. Then they are very solw about validating wins or gifts.

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    Victoria At PCH said...

    Hi Shirley,

    PCH is a legitimate sweepstakes company. Please be aware that the offer that you responded to was from a third party advertiser. Please contact the advertiser directly for a resolution to your concern as we cannot properly address customer service issues for another company. If you are not sure who the advertiser was, please review your browser history to locate the website you were directed to.

    Victoria At PCH

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Bruce Balsan said...

I just got an email 3 days ago. The english is passable but the address is on Channel Dr. in Port Washington and not on Winners Circle. one of the officers names listed was familiar and the asked fr personnal info which PCH should have on file. I’ve been a customer since the 70′s. Why would they need my name, address, agenda(?) etc.. Still it’s nice to dream. with te $10,000,000.00 I could finally get my truck fixed AND get a FULL tank of gas. Well……. maybe not. Darn taxes.

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    Victoria At PCH said...

    Hi Bruce,

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It sounds like you have been the victim of 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

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Joy Taber said...

Why does PCH lie about entrees. The chance of a purchase will not magnify your luck. I can remember when the news cast. Caught them throwing out thousands of entry form into the trash. Why doesn’t some one stop them from their lies, and dishonesty?

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    Jussie At PCH said...

    Hi, Joy. There is never, EVER any obligation to purchase anything through PCH to play, enter or win. Plus, purchasing something will not magnify your luck, at all – this is true. Publishers Clearing House has awarded $300,000,000 in prizes to this date, and the majority of these winners did not place any order with their winning entry! To see some of our winners, take a look at the “Winners Circle” on the bottom of http://www.pch.com or some winning moments on http://www.pchtv.com.

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Connie said...

My mother just got a call from Morgan Trust telling her she won a large sum (won’t say how much) and they needed her DOB to complete the information and they would be calling to schedule a time to deliver check. Did not ask for SS# or money. It’s weird because since they did not ask for any money or anything it sounds legit. But it’s probably a scam because I called pch and they said they never call ahead of time.

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    Victoria At PCH said...

    Hi Connie,

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This is definitely a scam. The offer you’re describing did not come from Publishers Clearing House. 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

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lynda belton said...

I THINK PCH.COM IS A JOKE,I HAVE SIGNED UP MY LAST TIME.THE WINNERS ON TV ARE PEOPLE THEY HIRE TO PLAY A WINNER.

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    PCH Staff said...

    PCH is a legitimate sweepstakes company. Over the years, Publishers Clearing House has awarded over $237 Million in prizes to people all over the United States and Canada. To see some of those winning moments, visit http://www.pchtv.com. PCH Sweepstakes winners are chosen at random, and each entry has the same chance of winning. You never know who will become the next BIG winner, so don’t lose hope!

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John Brooks said...

I have received a post card in the mail today July,24,2012..it read…
WARNING URGENT Notice
50winners will be confirmed in just a few day. Your failure to respond to this warning and enter in a timely manner may result in immediate forfeiture of funds from this notice. Don’t risk letting that happen! To to
http://WWW.pch.com/alert
On the special registration page,follow the entry instructions using the authorization code assigned to you below ….
But when I go to that address it has nothing to do with a code that was given to me on the post code…please help

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Jeannette Wallace said...

I received a post card requesting me to enter an authorization code which is:PCH07.
Am I a winner?

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Cheryl Thomas said...

Hi, hope I win 5,000 a week money…. Would like to help others and not just my family…

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    PCH Staff said...

    Hi Rose, winners of $500.00 or more from the real Publishers Clearing House are notified by registered mail or email and winners of $10,000 or more would be notified in person by our famous Prize Patrol with no advance notice.

    - Jussie W. at PCH

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Flor hernandez said...

So true scaming ….dangerous….people stealing giving more problems to the world….

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Daniel Squires said...

i’ve played PCH for like 15 years, and not even $1 have i won in all that time, worst lotto payout in history, I now believe that PCH does not pay out at all. theres the real scam.

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Pat Page said...

why you never post my comments

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Autum Block said...

I know, I got a friend request from “Todd Sloane” he asked if I felt lucky today. I said why? He said I won Facebook’s 1 million a year for life. Asked how I Felt. I said excited oh my goodness!!! I said why are you on here and not at my door. He said facebook winning is different I need to give him my bank account number so they can wire my prize money. I only have to pay taxes. It felt wrong so I told him sure as soon as I have my local police verify this is what I need to do. He blocked me! Hurts to be tricked but I enter because someday I really might win for real.

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Dawna schaub said...

add your comment here

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rona said...

you do however, ask me to search every day and then after i do, you send me another email saying i will forfeit my chances if i dont search or do the bingo – i cant PCH my entire life, until you give me my winnings – then i will be happy to play your games.

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janet said...

how do they know if you are home? how do they get to door through a locked gate?

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