Accessibility Statement

PCH’s Guide to Avoid and Protect Yourself Against Scammers

As our fans well know, Publishers Clearing House is a famous brand notorious for handing out massive sums of money. Unfortunately, because PCH is such a recognizable name tied to big-money winners, this dynamic lends itself to different Publishers Clearing House impersonator scams and swindlers using our good name.

While Publishers Clearing House has been a reputable company for nearly 70 years, PCH scams do exist. Because of this lamentable fact, we want to show you what to look out for so that you can avoid these kinds of frauds and how to protect yourself from Publishers Clearing House impersonator scams that emerge from time to time.

On that note, let’s take a look at how to stay safe against potential PCH impersonator scams.

Staying Safe from PCH Impersonator Scams

While there are different kinds of PCH impersonator scams, the thing that each Publishers Clearing House impersonator scam shares in common is that they contact fans stating that they have won a prize, likely a considerable amount of money.

The fact is that Publishers Clearing House will never contact major prize winners to let you know that you have won money. When PCH fans win big, we show up at their house unannounced, cameras rolling, so that we can capture their big moment. PCH will not contact you via social media, phone call, text message, or similar means of outreach.

In the event that PCH does contact a winner, it will be one who won $10,000 or less, and that will typically be done via an overnight express carrier such as UPS, FedEx or USPS Express Mail.

Therefore, to stay safe from PCH impersonator scams, you will want to make sure that you never post your personal information online (such as address, social security number, birth date, phone number, etc.) and to never give over your bank account information to someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House.

On that note, let’s take a moment to talk about the kinds of PCH impersonator scams that our fans might encounter.

Publishers Clearing House Impersonator Scam Types

As it stands, there are several types of PCH impersonator scams that fraudsters will utilize.

The first is an attempt to retrieve personal information from a person, including some of the things mentioned earlier (social security number, address, date of birth, etc.). In essence, these people are looking to commit identity fraud. Therefore, you should never give out any of this information online, particularly to those who are claiming to be from PCH.

The second kind of Publishers Clearing House impersonator scam involves trying to extract money from a person. This can be done in a couple of different ways.

The first is that the scammer will ask for your bank account information to deposit your “PCH winnings.” Again, Publishers Clearing House will never ask for your banking info, which means that anyone asking for these details have nefarious intentions. The second is that the scammer will go as far as to send you a fake check. However, in the United States, sweepstakes sponsors will need to send the winner an affidavit prior to sending any check over $600. Thus, if you have not received an affidavit, there is a good chance you are being set up by a fraudster. To avoid this kind of sham, it is wise to familiarize yourself with fake check scams.

How to Report PCH Impersonator Scams

With this understanding of different PCH impersonator scams, how to spot them, and how to avoid getting caught in one, the only thing left is to learn how to report a Publishers Clearing House impersonator scam.

To make things as easy as possible for our friends and fans, we have created a dedicated PCH impersonator scam reporting page that will walk you through the process, asking everything we need to know about you and the incident. The info will then be shared with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the US Postal Service, and police and law enforcement officials to help put an end to the scam.

Protecting Yourself Again PCH Impersonator Scams

We hope this information was helpful and successfully protects you from any potential PCH impersonator scams (and other types of internet scams) that you may encounter.

Tell us, has anyone tried to scam you in the name of PCH? How did you know it was a scam? Let us know in the comments section below!

Leave your comment


  1. I received a call telling me I had won 18 million dollars. Then they tell me I had to pay some fees, they ran anywhere from $200 to $500. One called from Jamaica and the other from different states.

    1. Hi George, 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: We encourage everyone to review the following Safety Tips to better protect themselves from being scammed:

  2. I was called, you have won a large prize from publishers clearing house. Phone number 7577572$$$, they called back today, I was not at home. They have called 2 or 3 times to tell me it is not a scam. I asked them to mail me, they said o.k. but did not sound too happy about it.

  3. I received a voicemail from a local number that I won 18M plus a car and 5K a month for life. I was given a claim code and the phone number to call the Prize Patrol to set up a good time to meet. Did not ask for money or a bank account.

    1. Hello Peggy, With PCH, a purchase is never required to enter or to win. Per the Official Rules and Sweepstakes Facts, a purchase or lack thereof will not affect a person’s chances of winning. In fact, most winners have been as a result of an entry-only submission. I assure you that PCH never solicits our consumers via outbound calling. If you feel that you may have been contacted by a scammer, please report it to PCH as soon as possible:

  4. Hello,
    I just received a call from 1332-$$$-15$$ stating that they are calling from PCH and that I won 2 million dollars and a Mercedes Benz. I know this was a scam so I hope this helps in catching them.

  5. I’ve been scammed 2 times and lost close to $750 and have a third supposedly individual saying I won the face book, Instagram contest of 6 million $ and a new gmc truck! Already paid them about $400 and they(lam and rode) and homeland security want $500 to be able to release CAs winnings and for finale paper work on truck!

    1. Hello Wayne, I am 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 or Facebook. We would really appreciate it if you would send us the details of this scam call you received. PCH does not send private Facebook messages to our fans so please complete a Scam Incident Report. Here’s how: 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!!

    1. Hello Mark, Please report all contacts from scammers to PCH via this link: PCH does partner with the Federal Trade Commission and we send all scam reports to them so please make sure you let us know anytime a scammer contacts you. Remember, the real PCH never notifies major prize winners via phone, standard mail, email, or social media, and we never ask winners to pay to claim their prize. You can see more Safety Tips here: Please be careful everyone; stay safe and have fun!

  6. If I pay the postage, I will receive a Makita tool kit for answering some survey questions about Home Depot. This shows up regularly on one of your sites with surveys. Is this a legit offer?