Publishers Clearing House (PCH) supports Senate effort to stop Jamaican lottery and Sweepstakes Scams.
We have previously warned you about the rise in lottery and sweepstakes scams originating from Jamaica. This growing problem is now the subject of an important Hearing by the Senate Special Committee on Aging to be held on Wednesday, March 13th. We fully support this effort to find ways to better educate consumers and target the scammers who are behind these nasty scams.
The Jamaican lottery and sweepstakes scams all follow the same basic pattern – consumers are told that all they have to do to collect a prize is send or wire money to claim the bogus prize. DON’T FALL FOR THIS! Anyone asking for payment of any type in order to claim a sweepstakes or lottery prize is a SCAMMER! At Publishers Clearing House, if you have won, we never ask for money to claim a prize award, and our ‘no purchase necessary’ message is prominently displayed in all of our promotional material.
Publishers Clearing House continues to actively work with law enforcement and consumer protection officials on this issue, sharing information gathered and tracked in our anti-scam database. We regularly provide such data to law enforcement officials including the Postal Inspection Service, Office of Homeland Security, FBI and the US Attorney’s Office. We are just one of a handful of private companies that contributes anti-scam data directly to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Database network. This secure online database of consumer complaints is available to law enforcement around the country and throughout the world.
You can learn more about these Jamaican lottery and sweepstakes scams at our PCH Sweepstakes Learning Center. In the meantime, here are some basic tips to protect you from these Jamaican based lottery and sweepstakes scams:
- Beware of any unsolicited calls that may come from the Jamaican area code of 876 and includes an offer that sounds too good to be true. Hang up the phone!
- If you are asked to send or wire money or provide a prepaid Green Dot MoneyPak card for any reason whatsoever to claim a prize — DONT! It is a SCAM! At Publishers Clearing House we NEVER ASK FOR MONEY to be sent to claim a prize.
- At Publishers Clearing House our major prizes of $10,000 or more are awarded in person, unannounced, by our famous Prize Patrol, or through notice in a certified letter. We DO NOT call our winners ahead of time.
- Never provide your credit card or Social Security number to someone who calls.
If you ever have any questions, you can call our customer service hotline at 1-800-392-4190 or leave a comment below.
Assistant Vice President, Consumer & Legal Affairs