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. I received a phone calltoday, the person asked for me by name, then asked if I remember entering the PCH Sweepstakes. I said yes and then he told me I won $2,500,000 and how did I feel about that. I said it was a joke and he quickly hung up.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      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. 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

  2. i have been aloyal PCH customer since 1983. havent won a thing –til i got a $10 ck for searching. it was legit. now im hoping for the big one . thanks pch!

  3. I recently recieved an email from PCH stating I am the winner of this weeks lottery. They asked me to send back info about FULL NAME,ADDRESS,SEX,NATIONALITY,AGE
    OCCUPATION,PHONE NUMBER
    PRESENT COUNTRY.they even gave me a qualification number.I dont know what to think because I did enter some PCH sweepstakes a month or two ago.

    1. Hi Amanda,

      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 will not ask you for any of the information that you would have put in your entry. 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

  4. I got a call today from someone claiming to be wth pch. The man said that I won $80,000. The man said my phone number was chosen at random and they would deliver the check tomorrow. It sounded like a scam.

    1. Hi Justin,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This is definitely a scam. The offer you’re describing did not come from Publishers Clearing House. 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. I have received a mail that I won 1 million US dollars a week ago from Publishers Clearing House UK.
    I replied if it is genuine I’ll be happy to pay the 3rd class payment of $345 through Western Union. They assured me that they will send the check of prize money through a courier after they received my payment.My husband got a doubt and searched google and found your website about scam protection. Thankyou for clarifying that the prize money is always sent free.

    1. Hi Surupa,

      That’s right! Winnings are always sent free. You were the victim of a scam. 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

  6. You know it’s odd reading all you post not because i don’t believe any one but because it happened to me. But they didn’t say they were from PCH they said they were from brinks sweepstakes. And the only reason i had gotten caught up in it all was cause this guy had left a message on my home phone but i could not call back cause i don’t have long distance and this is where i made my major mistake i call back on my cell which meant they had my cell no. even then i didn’t realize what i had gotten into until we started to talk then i know it was a scam. And where it sounds the same is things like my ph. read the call was from Jamaica, And at first he said someone in a brinks white truck would be by to pick me up to take me to my bank cause their is a small fee i said no that’s not going to happen. Then he changed it and said the western union thing and i said no again. Then i ask in what form is this money going to be delivered to me ? He didn’t know what i meant. I asked a few more times and he finally said in bags of cash and i said right. He sounded harmless until he started asking me questions like. Do you live alone ? i got scared and hung up. That’s when i realized he had my no. cause he repeatedly called back for three days after that . But after i had hung up i was taking out the garbage and a man approached me with a tag around his neck like hospital workers and asked me if i was the one ? I looked for a white truck but i didn’t see one but i still got scared and called the cops. It turned out the guy had nothing to do with the call and he was harmless and i was relived that i wasn’t alone the cop said an elderly lady on the next block experienced the same thing he took the no. and said he will call and harass them like he did for the last lady but said sorry thats all they could do cause the no. is not in the US. So the next time he called i answered and gave him an ear full he finally stopped so thank you PCH for this info.

    1. Hi Michael,

      PCH is a legitimate sweepstakes company. 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

  7. THIS PCH IS FAKE AS WELL I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR OVER A YEAR AND HAVE YET TO WIN ANYTHING FROM THEM.THEY CLAIMED THAT SOMEONE WITH THE INITALS MV WITCH IS MY INITALS WILL DEFFENTLYBE THE TEN MILLION DALLOR WINNER ON THE 29 OF FEB.BUT JASON CLARK WON IT JC IS NOT MV THERE FRAUD,AND SCAMS.YOU DON’T REALLY WIN PEOPLE IT’S FAKE DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME ON TRYING!!!! MV…

    1. Hi Michael,

      The Initials Giveaway ended on 2/29/2015. There will be a $100.00 prize given to one winner with your set of initials chosen randomly from all eligible entrants. The winners will be notified soon. The Initials Giveaway is not associated with the SuperPrize, which Jason Clark won.

      Victoria At PCH

  8. Just got phone calls from 1-876-849- 9563. They told me I won a check that would be delivered in 45 minutes and to call 1-876-875-0208, ext 5, and speak with Mr. Malone to verify a few things. I would receive $255,000.00 if I went to Wal- mart or Kroger and got a blue stamp approval card and paid $199.00 up front. I googled the phone numbers and found them invalid. I said ” NO THANKS” and hung up.

    1. Hi Jerry,

      It’s a good thing you hung up! This is definitely a scam. The offer you’re describing did not come from Publishers Clearing House. 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