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!

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  1. I received a call on my home phone and on my cell today telling me I had won the sweepstakes. When you call the number back they answer publishers clearinghouse. I have seen on tv you surprise the winner,that was a giveaway something was off.

    1. Hi Rebecca, the real PCH does not notify our major prize winners via phone, standard mail, email, or social media, and we never ask for money to claim a prize. Please report any details you have about that scam contact to us at this link: http://bit.ly/Report-Scam-To-PCH. I also encourage you to check out these Safety Tips for some great info on what to watch for: https://bit.ly/FraudProtection2. Stay safe everyone!!