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


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 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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69 thoughts on “PCH Scams: Red Flags To Look For From Our Own Lori Shore!”

  1. Beverly Glessner says:

    today I recieved a check for over $5000. with a letter from PCH saying to deposit the check which is for lawyer fees and and insurance. The total prize after I deposited the check is for $2,500,000. I was to call 1-647-675-5295 I called and they answered PCH and asked for my security code on the letter which I gave them. They then said the check was released for me to deposit it. It was written on something south bank which I called and they informed me that the check was not one of theirs and that I may be dealing with scam. So here I am writing to PCH to let you know there is another very clever scam going on in PCH”S name. Beverly Glessner

  2. PAM Henderson says:

    To day is July 25 2016 I received a phone call saying it was from David Fults his number was 1-876-250-9247 saying that I had won a Mercedes Bends and 2 million dollars. I know it was a scam so after asking questions he sent me to the processing people the number there was 1-876-250-9247.

    1. PCH Staff PCH Staff says:

      Hi Pam, we are so glad you knew it was not the real PCH. With our sweepstakes, you never have to pay to claim a prize. PCH does not contact winners of a major prize via phone, text, email, standard mail, or on Social Media. You can report these scammers to us by completing a scam incident report. Click this link to find out how: http://bit.ly/Report-Scam-To-PCH. Feel free to check out our Fraud Prevention page for tips to recognize these scammers by clicking here: http://bit.ly/PCHFraudPrevention. Stay safe!

  3. Johny B. Bad says:

    Got a text on my cellphone, from rwilson@nsf.org. It said I had won a prize and I should contact pch.alert@outlook.com. Two different e-mails, this should be a clue for a scam. Also, I don’t think PCH would be using a free SMTP service, like outlook, for winners to contact.

    1. PCH Staff PCH Staff says:

      Hi Johny, we are really happy that you knew that it was not the real PCH who contacted you! We never notify major winners over the phone or through standard mail, email, text, or Facebook. We would really appreciate if you would send us the details of this scam email you received. Please complete a Scam Incident Report. Here’s how: http://bit.ly/Report-Scam-To-PCH. There are a lot of scammers out there who use the good name and reputation of PCH, as well as the names of those of us on the Prize Patrol. Please be careful everyone!

  4. Sheba B says:

    I received call as if I got my PCH in mail. No. He told me to copy down this package code 252373, call this number 8669965997 to claim your prize. I hung up, looked up this number and it is a scam.


  5. Jeff says:

    just received a call. said he was lee mason, his badge number 0512, he was with PCH and i won 2.5 million U.S. dollars. a bonus prize of 2015 Merc benz cherry red GTA 250 fourmatic convertible. my package code was the last 5 digits of my phone number all i needed to do was bridge on # 866-996-5997. So I put him on hold, pulled the number up on web. indications were it was a scam. I hung up, they called back twice. I answered the second time, they asked if I had bridged the number, I said yes and that they told me it was a scam number. They hung up, no howdy doody or nothing.

    1. PCH Staff PCH Staff says:

      Jeff, I’m glad you checked out the number to find out it was scammer contacting you. Here are some simply PCH facts. PCH will never ask you to pay money to claim a prize. Also, the Prize Patrol will never send a friend request, winner notification or private message via Facebook, nor will PCH ever contact you by phone or text messaging. Please check out this link to find out how to prevent scammers from contacting you: http://blog.pch.com/blog/2014/11/05/how-to-prevent-friend-requests-from-pch-scammers/.

  6. Ijust received a call from a foreign speaking person named David White. He said that he was from PCH and that I had won $380,000. He said that he was the ‘Prize Representative’. The Winning confirmation # was 00846524US. His badge # was 4407637386 and that he was 100% legitimate. I was to go to a local store and from Western Union I would receive a registration card and it would cost $380 but he could get a sponsor so that I would only have to pay $100. When I took the check to the bank I would be able to take out $50k right away. But our banks aren’t open on Saturday in Oregon. He gave my son the confirmation office phone number as he answer was automated with a prize ID# of 542-360. It would have been nice since I am newly divorced and have virtually nothing. Oh well maybe some day but not over the telephone!! It is definitely a scam.

    1. PCH Staff PCH Staff says:

      We’re so happy that you knew that wasn’t the real PCH who contacted you. We will never ask for money to claim a prize. We also don’t notify winners via phone, standard mail, email, or social media. Please report all scam contacts to PCH via this link: http://bit.ly/Report-Scam-To-PCH. We encourage everyone to review the following Safety Tips to better protect themselves from being scammed: http://bit.ly/PCH-Safety-Tips

  7. Kim Weeks says:

    Safty First

  8. Nettie Jenkins says:

    I am sooooooo glad about this blog because I here a lot of this on Facebook. PCH is the best ………#Sweepstakes around not only because they giveaway lots of prizes but because they want to keep us safe! #SafetyFirst

  9. Pat says:

    I just received a call on my cell phone from a foreign speaking person saying that he was “David Sayer” from PCH and that I have just won 2.1 million dollars and a new Mercades Car… I told him to give me his phone number so that I can call him back after I got off work… he gave me 2 different phone numbers and they were, 719-448-6768 and 1-876-584-6105 .. I obviously did NOT call back as I recognized this as a Scam.. Beware People, they have our cell numbers… 🙁

    1. PCH Staff PCH Staff says:

      Hello Pat! We’re so sorry to hear about your encounter with a scammer. You never have to pay to claim a PCH prize and we will never call your phone! Please be careful and be aware of scammers online by familiarizing yourself with our “Fraud Protection” page (http://bit.ly/_FraudProtection_) and always report scammer encounters to abuse@pch.com.

      1. Jessica says:

        I received a call today on my cell phone from a man claiming to be Michael Bradley from PCH (his number was 1-817-865-1824). He said I was the 3rd place winner & I had won a 2016 Mercedes Bends & $950K. I was very skeptical & kept asking him questions & he continued to assure me this wasn’t a joke it was very real & he said the lawyer handling this was Mary Adams & all I needed to do was to call 1-866-996-5997 & give them my pkg . # 232373 & he would call me back afterwards. He called me back twice to see if I had called them & I had said not yet I was waiting for my husband to be here when I did. So he waited a little longer & called back & this time he said he was David this time instead of Michael (Whoops……..). I just told him yes I had called that # when actually I hadn’t. He wanted to know what they said & I told him they wanted $ & I said PCH doesn’t ask you for $ and he said it was for shipping & handling for what I had won. He kept repeating that God was doing this for me & I hope he gets whats coming to him!!!!

    2. Sara says:

      Mine was for 2.4 million…..got defensive when I asked him about it being a scam. Looked up the number and oh my gosh look! It’s a scam!!

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