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