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How To Spot A Scammer: 5 Tips To Protect Yourself

In today’s day and age, we all love to interact with friends and family on social media. It’s the way we get to share the news, both good and bad, and keep up with the latest trends, cute kitten and puppy videos, and whatever else might be going viral that day! As fun and easy as it is, we all need to be extra vigilant about those who might want to do us harm by pretending to be someone they’re not and asking for money or for personal information that we should NEVER give out to strangers on the Internet.

Today’s blog is an important reminder to all of you loyal fans and blog readers to be on the lookout for PCH imitators who may be lurking out there! Here are a few tips to protect yourself from potential scams.

Prize Patrol Members Will NOT Send Friend Requests

This one seems to be a favorite with scammers. They’ll send you a friend request on Facebook pretending to be someone from the Prize Patrol, like Danielle Lam or Dave Sayer. Don’t be fooled! Prize Patrol members will NEVER send you friend requests!

These scammers can also make their Facebook pages look very authentic, and it can be very tricky to tell the difference. Never fall for it! If something tells you that it’s not right, because of poor spelling and grammar for instance, then trust your instincts! In fact, always make sure you’re on the real PCH Fan Page on Facebook. You’ll notice the blue check mark in the top left-hand corner letting you know it’s verified.

You NEVER Have To Pay To Claim A PCH Prize

If someone tells you that you’ve won a prize, but that in order to claim it you need to give them money for any reason – ?STOP? – it’s a SCAM! Sad but true, there are unscrupulous individuals who impersonate the “real” PCH and contact fans and friends like you – often asking their victims to send some sort of payment or fee to claim a fake PCH “prize.” At Publishers Clearing House the winning is always ?free?!

If someone asks you to send money to get your prize – whether they ask for you to wire it, go to a Bitcoin machine, or buy a gift card – DON’T DO IT. PCH will never, ever ask you to pay a single cent to claim your prize.

Winners Are NOT Notified Through Facebook

We would never alert our winner in advance on social media like Facebook. That would ruin the surprise! PCH prides itself on the way we carefully plan our big winning moments. The reason our lucky winners look so surprised is because THEY REALLY ARE! Be on the lookout for any fake winning messages on Facebook and be sure you report it to us right away. We make it easy with our online PCH Scam Incident Report and strongly encourage you to fill one out if you think you are being scammed. It’s fast and super-easy!

Winners Are NOT Contacted By Phone

If you win a PCH prize over $10K, the Prize Patrol will show up at your house – they will NOT call you! (Smaller prizes are delivered via UPS.) If you receive a phone call from someone claiming they are from Publishers Clearing House, simply HANG UP. If you win a prize, you won’t find out from a phone call.

Look For The Checkmark

Our official PCH social media pages are all verified. You can easily tell if a page is verified if it has a checkmark And this is important, the checkmark should be located right next to our name, Publishers Clearing House. We’ve seen scammers add a checkmark to our logo to try to impersonate PCH, but only our official accounts have the checkmark in the right place. Here are what each of our pages look like:



If something feels off, or you are asked to provide money or personal information, DON’T. The Prize Patrol will come to your house if you’re a winner, so you never have to worry you’ll miss out!

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  1. PCH Jericho New York is this real?? Need info fast! Bruce Maxwell contacted me Christmas Day??!!! I have e mail and hone numbers to contact him when I have an account number ready for wire ng funds for Bank of America??!!!!

  2. Yes, someone saying he’s Dave Sayers. He took my info and everything on fb. And talking to me saying I won and asking money to get my prize, he is talking Facebook and what’s app.

    1. Hello Connie, That is definitely a scammer who contacted you! PCH will never send friend requests, private messages, or winner notifications via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc; we also never ask for money to claim a prize. Do not give this person any personal information and certainly do not send them any money!! Instead, report them to PCH by completing a Scam Incident Report. Here’s how: Check out this FAQ for info on how to stop scammers from contacting you on Facebook: Please be careful everyone; don’t become a scammer’s victim!

  3. For 2 years now I have had several phone calls saying I have won big. I have lost money by sending it to them on a card. They insist on taking the card and in the past I have been stupid enough to trust them because I believe in miracles. I was scammed and feel like I am in need of help. Tonya.

    1. Hello Tonya! 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; don’t become a scammer’s victim.