Accessibility Statement

Do You Have to Pay Money To Claim A Prize From PCH?

No! The REAL Publishers Clearing House wants you to know that you NEVER have to pay or send money to claim a prize from Publishers Clearing House! So PLEASE, beware of scams asking you to do so!

Do you have to pay money to claim a prize from Publishers Clearing House

Greetings, fans and friends,

We at Publishers Clearing House can’t say it enough: There are scammers out there whose only goal is to prey on decent, hardworking people like you by masquerading as Publishers Clearing House, the PCH Prize Patrol, or employees of PCH.

And as always, Publishers Clearing House would like to remind you to beware of ALL scams that ask you to send money in order to claim a prize award!

My own mother, age 87, was a victim of a scam just this month! She was phoned three times by people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, saying that she had not filed her taxes (not true!), and if she did not send them approximately $5,000, or give them her credit card number, they would take her house and car away! Good thing my mother is a smart lady who knows better than to listen to these awful scammers, but she sure was shaken up and was afraid to answer her phone for several days afterwards!

As in my mother’s situation, many scammers will ask you to send or wire money or purchase a prepaid card in order to “seal the deal.” In the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, the winning is always FREE! So, if you are being asked to send some sort of payment in order to claim a “prize award,” and you are wondering “do you have to pay money to claim a prize from Publishers Clearing House?” remember that the answer is NO! And if you are being asked to send or wire money, you have not heard from the real PCH!

We also want to remind you about “Fake Check” scams. In these types of scams, you might receive a real-looking check in the mail accompanied by an “official-looking” letter. You then might be asked to wire back a portion of the check – which the scammers might tell you is your “entry fee” or your “taxes.” Once again, this is a scam and the check is fake, so don’t believe it for a moment!

Unfortunately, some of our blog readers have succumbed to Green Dot Money Pak scams. A scammer might phone you and claim that you’ve won a prize from Publishers Clearing House, but in order to claim the prize you must purchase a pre-paid Green Dot Money Pak card. These cards can be accessed remotely using the card numbers (which the scammers will ask you to provide), so don’t fall for this! Once the scammer – who could possibly be calling from a foreign country – has your money, you will never see it again!

At Publishers Clearing House, we have a number of consumer protection programs in place to keep you, or loyal fans and friends, safe and secure. These include:

If you believe you have received a suspicious letter, phone call, Facebook or Instagram message, Tweet, or email from a scammer claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, please report it using our Scam Incident Report.

As always, stay educated … stay protected … and STAY SAFE!

Debbie K.
PCH Creative

P.S. Have you ever been scammed? What advice would you give your fellow blog readers on how to stay safe? Comment below!

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  1. I just got a call from a 718-603-5435 number that said I won but I didn’t have to send money but wanted me to buy a vanilla Visa card and wanted me to go to my bank and get 1700.00 out to mail to the government .

  2. Yes this true. I was almost taken in by a charm scammer pretending to like the sound of my voice. Yet telling me I had to pay money for the prize he claimed I had won. Please be ware. They will try to charm you and your money. I just blocked his calls. Julia

  3. Hello, I received a phone call from 518-558-3929 informing me that I had just won, but in order to receive the prize, I had to purchase an Amex gift card for the amount of $980.40. I refused and hung up, but I would like to report this contact. Please do what you can to prevent this from happening again. Thank you.

    1. Hi Mona! That is not the real PCH calling you; it’s a scammer that’s only pretending to be from PCH. Please do not call that number, do not give the scammer any personal info including bank account information, and definitely do not send them any money if they ask. If you haven’t already done so, please report that scam contact to us via the following link: I encourage you to read these Safety Tips too: Please be careful everyone; don’t become a scammer’s victim!

  4. My sister in Alabama just received a call claiming she had won a car and 9,000 dollars, and they required her to have a cashier’s check for $950 at the time the award was given out.