PCH Scams: Red Flags To Look For From Our Own Lori Shore!

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Here at Publishers Clearing House, we take PCH scams VERY seriously. Since 1967 we have been running the world’s most well known sweepstakes with a guarantee to award all prizes as offered. That’s why scammers often use our good name to attempt to rip off innocent people.

Recently, our very own Lori Shore received a PCH scam email in her personal inbox indicating that she had won $1 Million from PCHLotto. Now, Lori’s worked in our Contest Department for nearly 5 years, the department that oversees the winner selection process, so she knew right away that it was not legitimate. Lori exclaimed,  “The very first thought that popped in my head when I read the email was, I can’t believe they’re trying to scam someone from the PCH contest department, how ironic!”

But you don’t have to work for Publishers Clearing House to spot PCH scams! While those who try to perpetrate PCH scams do their homework and use the names of real company officials, there are easy ways to determine if a communication is fraudulent. Lori described to me some of the red flags she spotted in the email she received and I want to share them with you.

1.  RED FLAG #1 Publishers Clearing House notifies winners of our big SuperPrize awards by sending the Prize Patrol to surprise them in person, never via email.  If you’re a big winner, the PCH Prize Patrol will show up at your door with flowers, balloons, champagne and a “Big Check” ― just like you see on TV! Smaller prizes are sent via registered mail.

2. RED FLAG #2 The amount that was listed in the email was $1 Million US Dollars. The “US Dollars” is a tip off that the scam email originated overseas. PCH has always been located here on Long Island, New York and “US Dollars” is not language typically used in our communications.

3. RED FLAG #3 The email requested that Lori respond to provide more information. As we’ve learned from law enforcement, this is often where an unsuspecting person might get into trouble. They might call the phone number listed on the email and be told they must wire money to cover taxes and fees before they can claim their big prize. Publishers Clearing House would NEVER, EVER ask winners to pay any fees or taxes to claim a prize ― it’s against the law!

Lori knew to forward the email she received to our Consumer Affairs Department who shares all such reports with our law enforcement partners. But, what should YOU do if you receive a similar email? First, DO NOT respond! Then, please fill out a Scam Incident Report!

Although we’ve been working with consumer protection and law enforcement officials to put a stop to PCH scams, they are still out there. So please keep the red flags from Lori in mind should you or any of your friends or family receive a similar email.

Stay safe!

elaina

Elaina R.
PCH Online Creative.

P.S. Friends, please remember that PCH also does not notify big winners via Facebook or telephone.

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  1. I was contacted by phone and instructed to go to the local Wal-mart, where “prize patrol” would be meeting me. I knew right off that it was a scam but I played along with a different “game” in mind. I proceeded to do as the “scammer” instructed while she also insisted she remain on the line with me while I drove to Wal-mart. I did so as I have a blue tooth connector in my car! 🙂 Upon arrival I was instructed to go inside and retrieve a money gram and remove 385 from my bank via ATM. The whole time she remained on the line with me (Debra Haffy) is the name she provided. lol. Even gave me a badge# etc. Package Code the works. I took down all the info as she gave it before leaving the house to go to the local Wal-mart. Upon arrival I gave her the excuse that the line was long and they kept the forms behind the counter. I place my cell on mute and proceeded to the counter where I notified the cashier of the situation and that she was still on the line. They called local law enforcement for me and had them come up. While waiting I kept checking in with her giving her excuses from long lines at counter and ATM to I had to use the restroom. She patiently waited. When the officer arrived I explained to her that I had received a text from my husband having a friend of ours meet me up there for my safety. I explained to her that he worked in local law enforcement and was a friend wanting to ensure this was legit. She agreed and proceeded to speaking with the officer. She continued to give out information trying to convince the officer that she really was from PCH and for me to send the money. After the officer asked to speak with her supervisor she connected him to “David White” who then portrayed “the supervisor” and gave the same info trying to convince the officer who had at this point also identified to himself as an officer that it was PCH and they were awaiting my payment of taxes per required by the IRS before they could meet me and release the check etc. He then asked them what happens once I send the money. They told him that they would come to my house with the prize patrol van. Upon this, he cleverly asked, “what is her address” they continued to answer with a town name over 50 miles away. He then asked “how are you going to deliver the prize money to her house if you don’t know her address” at this point the “David White” hung up on the officer. On a positive quick thinking on both the officer and my part allowed us to obtain a ton of information on this scammer along with how their scam works. I have made an official report to PCH fraud reporting and to local law enforcement with all the information an process we gathered and I hope to directly hear from a REAL PCH official in regards to how they were able to obtain my information from PCH because that is the only way they would have know EXACTLY which prizes I had applied for from PCH. I will continue contacting BBB and other officials until I receive a direct answer in the matter as to how my specific information was obtained.

    Thanks!

    1. Hello Melissa, thank you very much for reporting the scammers that have contacted you. Stopping them is a team effort and we are happy that you are doing your part. While it may be tempting, we don’t encourage you to interact with them any more than is minimally necessary. Simply tell them that you know they’re not the real PCH and hang up or disconnect your mode of contact with them. To stop scammers from contacting you on Facebook, check out this PCH Blog article: http://bit.ly/StopFBScammers. As a reminder, you can report scammers to PCH at this link: http://bit.ly/Report-Scam-To-PCH. Be careful and stay safe everyone!!

  2. I received the following pm on Facebook at about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, from someone calling herself Yvonne E. Franck saying she won $80,000 from PCH and saw a list that I did as well and asking me to contact an “agent”:

    SAT 4:26PM

    good day to you how are you doing today??
    5:24PM
    hangin’ in there!

    Have you heard about Publishers Clearing House (PCH) In conjuction with facebook promotion trust fund. They are helping a lot of people with $80,000.00 cash.

    thanks for letting me know.

    They delivered $80,000.00 to me in person and it was delivered to my door step in cash …i did saw your name as a winner too….have you gotten yours too?

    no

    You need to contact the Claiming Agent now to claim yours too …do you know how to do that???

    show me where you read i was also a winner.

    click on the link now and send her a friend request, Donna Taylor

    i say your name on the list with them when they came to delivered mine from me

    If I’m on the list, then they’ll notify me.

    should i tell the agent to send you a friend request now

    No, I’ll contact PCH directly about it. I’ll provide this message chain so they know I’m supposed to receive $80,000.

    you need to contact them by your self

    I just said that.

    Chat Conversation End

    Seen 5:29pm
    react-empty: 1

  3. i received an email saying i won a $1000000 prize from publisher clearing house. It asks me for my full name address a serial number provided in the email and my phone number. I assume its a scam. how can i report it?