Publishers Clearing House Scam Buster Tips

Publishers Clearing House scam warning: Beware fake check scams are on the rise! At PCH – as with any legitimate sweepstakes company – the winning is always free!

Publishers Clearing House scam warning:  Beware fake check scams are on the rise!

Fake check schemes, where consumers are lured into accepting phony checks in return for sending or wiring cash to a fraudster, can prove costly to unsuspecting consumers.  These check scams are the most frequently reported scam complaints.  And, many use “sweepstakes” as a ruse – telling victims they have won millions of dollars but must first pay taxes or other fees out of the advance check, before they can claim the rest of the prize.  Don’t believe it!  At Publishers Clearing House – as with any legitimate sweepstakes company – the winning is always free!

In these difficult economic times, Publishers Clearing House Scam Busters want to remind you to be wary of sweepstakes offers that may sound too good to be true.  Many consumers are looking for new and different ways to make ends meet and may be tempted to believe an offer they would otherwise not even consider.

Here are three very important tips to avoid getting scammed:

  1. If someone sends you a check and asks you to send money back in return, don’t! – If you are told you have won a prize and are asked to cash a check and send or wire money back, do not! The check is a fake.  Legitimate sweepstakes will never ask you to pay a fee to claim a prize.
  2. If the company name sounds familiar or legitimate and you assume you can trust it, think again!  – Scammers oftentimes use the names of legitimate companies in an attempt to deceive and gain consumers trust.  Criminals will pretend to be affiliated with well-known, recognized and trusted brand names.  Always contact the legitimate company and talk to one of their representatives.
  3. If someone asks you to wire money to claim a sweepstakes prize, don’t!Most scammers will advise consumers to wire money via a money-transfer service.  Con-artists want money sent to them via a money-transfer service because it’s quick, it’s cash and it’s virtually impossible to trace and recover.  Wiring money is like sending cash and once it’s gone, it’s usually gone.

As members of the Consumer Federation of America’s Fake Check task force which runs under the auspices of the National Consumers League, we work together to reduce these scams. At PCH we take consumer protection and the fraudulent use of our good name very seriously and go to great lengths to combat these scams and protect our customers.  You can read more at http://help.pch.com/consumer.

Remember, at Publishers Clearing House, the winning is always free.  If you are ever asked to send or wire money to claim a sweepstakes prize, you are being scammed. It’s just that simple! If you believe you have been the victim of a fraudulent contact using the name of Publishers Clearing House, please fill out a Scam Incident Report.   If you receive a suspicious email fraudulently claiming to be from PCH, PCHLotto or PCHSearch&Win, please fill out a Scam Incident Report.

Visit us online at www.pch.com and click on our Customer Service/Info Center for more sweepstakes scam protection tips!

 

 

 

Margaret Crossan

PCH Consumer Affairs Department

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Comments

  1. We are please to announce to you that your email address just won you ($1,000,
    000.00 USD) in this year\’s weekly Publishers Clearing House Consequently.Please
    contact the underlined claims officer with the Contact info below with your full
    detial as stated below for the immediate payment of your prize.

    Your Qualification number is: (A-121-637, G-01-06)
    Agent: Mr. Collins Van Paul
    Email: pch_redeemprizedept@careceo.com

    YOU ARE REQUIRE TO SEND THE INFORMATION BELOW TO PROCESS YOUR CLAIM
    FULL NAME:
    ADDRESS:
    SEX:
    AGE:
    PHONE NUMBER:

    Executive Secretary,
    Engr. Xavier Fitch.

    1. Hi Joanna,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. You have been the victim of a scam. The offer you’re describing did not come from Publishers Clearing House. 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 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. We also recommend that you report this incident to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Victoria At PCH

  2. This is happening in Canada too. Just received a call yesterday from a Michael Thompson claiming to represent PCH to notify me that I had won $1.5 million and that the delivery guy would personally accompany me to the bank to verify that the cashiers cheque was legitimate. The catch was that I would require a receipt from Western Union proving that I had paid $250 in delivery fees in order for the delivery guy to hand over the cheque. When questioned how I could verify this, I was told a phone number (1-876-352-1921) that originates in Jamaica and that this was all in accordance to PCH’s standards. I did not call back, and he tried to call again three times in a row. My concern is that he had my phone number, name and address. What does PCH do to protect the identity of people who are in their system?

  3. Yesterday feb 9,2012 I was contacted by a man called David Clark at 516-204-4169 he told me he was from Publisher Clearance House , He told me I was 2011 second winner of 650,000.00 and that they tried to get incontact with me during this time, when I didnt reply to the snail mail they had sent me the had an option to call me at the number I had given them (pch) He said it was tax free and they had covered all the expenses from that winning prize. He spoke with my husband and told him what he told me.. Today feb 10,2012 I receive a call at 6:12 am He informed me that he was from the federal reserve in the airport and there was a package the open with a certified check of 650,000.00 and that this money had to be reported to the goverment. His name is Glenn Porterfield his phone number was 972-587-7304 That I was going to be contacted by a lawyer which name is Jacob Miles and his phone number is 1-888-248-5539 . This money was at the international airport of Dallas Texas but to complete the transation I had to send by western union the amount of 3,250.00 and that PCH would pay the other 3,250.00 so I could receive the 650,000.00 and they would re-emburst me for th 3,250.00 because they did not expect that the police of customes would open and look at the check.. He also said that that money was to pay the goverment and that they had checked in case it was money laundering or some sort of issue. I call the PCH with the number I found on this site and I was informed this was one of the #1 scams there using now. They documented everything I said and told me not to send any money. If I would of won PCH would come to my door and there was no fee’s to pay and I would not be charged.. PPl beware These ppl sound legit. This is my opinion and I am stating what happened to me. If this would of been true I would of gotten the money with no fees.

  4. I had just been scammed,someone using the name David Clark called me yesterday said I won 650,000.00 dollars be at home Federal Express would be there between the hrs. of 1-3:00,then this morning at 7:00AM I get a called saying I need to give them 2000.00 cause the amount was over 10,000.00 for custom fees I knew then I wasn’t a winner from PCH please watch for these number 516-204-4169 or 972
    587-7304 EVERYONE BE BEWARE OF THE SCAM ARTIST OUT THERE. GL TO EVERYONE FOR THE REAL PCH TO COME TO US

    1. Hi Janice,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. You have certainly 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

  5. sometimes I do think pch is all nothin but a scam because I have been a customer for about 20 years on and off and I never won anything and I am still a customer and I still haven’t won nothin also I have checked on some of the winners and I found out no such names so how do we know for sure if pch is not a scam???

    1. Hi Lucinda,

      Please note that there is never any purchase necessary to enter or to win any PCH Sweepstakes. You can search for the names of past winners and find many results, however, we protect the privacy of our winners. 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!

      Victoria At PCH

  6. My mom was called by a James Carter and Attorney Matthew Dixon saying she won. She also got mail from PCH stating she had won. Please help.

    1. Hi C Bell,

      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. You may 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. We also recommend that you report this incident to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Victoria At PCh

  7. I know that the PCH is real & trust-worthy only because it was on the oprah winfrey show lol.. and if she says it’s true.. it is : )

  8. I received a notice who said they are Publishers Clearing House but they are in England. They emailed me saying I had won a million dollars and a Land Rover with a PBH logo I have to display for 5 months. They want me to open a bank account so they can wire the money. I am sure it is a scam because you are not in England. What shall I do?

    1. Hi Loretta,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. 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 open an account or pay a fee to claim a prize. You may 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. We also recommend that you report this incident to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Victoria At PCH

  9. I received a call today from “Michael Anderson” at 270-495-9395 stating I had won 2.5 million dollars and a “pearly white Mercedez Benz.” All I needed to do was go to my local CVS or Walgreens to obtain a green dot money packed reloadable card in the amount of $250. They said they would come to my house at 6:00 p.m. to collect the card as long as I provided two forms of Identification, and they would deliver my car and my check for 2.5 million. I smelled a scam and came to your website. Now I am armed with all the necessary information. He said he would email me the details, so when I receive his email, I will forward this website to him. 🙂

    1. Hi Amanda,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. You’re right that it was 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 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. We also recommend that you report this incident to the National Fraud Center at http://www.fraud.org.

      Victoria At PCH

    2. I was contacted by Peter Rogers from Bank of America claiming I had won 3.5 million dollars and go to my nearest drug store and purchase a green dot money pack reusable card and that in 1-2 hours their representatives would show up at my house to present my prize. Watch out for calls from (408) 940-1391) Sunnyvale, Ca

      1. Hi Shelton. This is definitely a scam. If you are contacted by someone who says you won a prize, but in order to claim it you must drive somewhere, pay a shipping, handling, or delivery fee, prepay taxes, pay a deposit, give a credit card number, call a 900 number, or purchase a product with a ‘discount voucher’, it is NOT affiliated in any way with the real Publishers Clearing House. Please take great care to undertsand the identity of the contest sponsors as well as all the details and requirements before participating in any sweepstakes program. If you think that you are the victim of a scam, please contact us at http://pch.custhelp.com/app/ask.

  10. I received a letter from PCH with a phone number for response. I called the number and set up a meeting at my house to receive the prize. PCH asked me to quit-claim my house for a down-payment on the prize fees. After I did that, they left and I never heard from them again. Now the Sheriff is knocking on my door with an eviction notice. Thanks PCH for nothing!

    1. Hi Eileen,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. You have been the victim of a scam. The offer you’re describing did not come from Publishers Clearing House. PCH does not ask winners to call, and surprises winners with their prizes rather than arranging meetings. 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