PCH Shares Scam Reports With FTC to Fight Fraud

It’s National Consumer Protection Week – 2010

In continuing recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, Publishers Clearing House would like to remind you to BEWARE of scams posing as legitimate sweepstakes that ask you to send money. Remember, in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes the winning is always FREE!

Some scam artists may send out real looking checks in an attempt to get you to send money. DO NOT fall for these Fake Check Scams. You may receive an official looking letter that includes what appears to be a real looking check. Using a variety of false promises, the scammers will tell you to wire back a portion of the check. Whatever the set-up, the results are always the same. If you send money back you’ll be out twice. YOU will owe the bank the money you withdrew and the scammer will have the money you sent in his/her pocket!

At PCH we have been attacking scams like these with a number of comprehensive consumer protection programs. From an educational standpoint we have posted consumer alerts on our website at pch.com and in our mail. We have recorded anti-scam messages on our toll-free customer service lines, and ask consumers to provide us details of the scams so we can share information with law enforcement officials including the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorneys General. In many instances we can move quickly after receiving complaints to have phone numbers supporting these scams immediately shut down. PCH is also a proud member of the Consumer Federation of America’s Fake Check Task Force, where both private and regulatory members meet regularly to share efforts to combat these ongoing scams. We continue to partner with law enforcement officials including the FBI, Postal Inspections Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and US Attorney’s Office to develop new efforts to target the scammers and bring them to justice.

Be smart. Be safe. Be protected. If you or someone you know believes they have been the victim of a fraudulent contact using the name of Publishers Clearing House, please fill out a Scam Incident Report.

M Crossan PCH


Margaret Crossan

PCH Consumer Affairs Department

Leave a Reply


  1. My in-laws just lost $20,000 to someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, they said they would get their money faster if they wired them the $20,000 so they could pay their taxes up front. We wouldn’t have know anything about this if they had not called them again and said the transfer didn’t go through and to go to the bank again and withdraw another $20,000 in cash and to call them when she got it and they would give her instructions on how to send it. My mother-in-law called us to ask how she sends someone $20,000 cash through the mail! I spent hours changing all bank account #’s and having their phone # changed. Today they got a letter with a check for 2.6 million dollars telling them to cash the prize check but they needed to send them $55,000 now because they needed to pay the taxes up front. My in-laws don’t understand why we are so upset about this and were going to call these people (on the number we just had changed!) and ask where to send the money!!!!! PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, anyone with elderly parents, talk to them and make sure they know the implications of giving anyone their banking information and social security number! I fear we will be dealing with this for a long time to come!

  2. Hi Thomas,

    Please be assured that if you followed the entry instructions, your Sweepstakes entry has been fully processed.

    After your entry is processed (as indicated by the “Processing Entry” or “Information Authentication” page), you may be redirected to a non-PCH advertisement which may be of interest to you. Please note that they are not affiliated with PCH. There is no obligation to provide any information or make any purchase – if you do not wish to do so.

    And remember, a purchase is never necessary to enter or win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes!

    Please contact the advertiser directly for a resolution to your concern as we cannot properly address customer service issues for another company. If you are not sure who the advertiser was, please review your browser history to locate the website you were directed to.

    Jodi @ PCH

  3. I am curious…I have received a phone call through a bank of america saying i won 75,000…they r wanting me to send in 299 to cover the service fee and insurance…now he is tellin me to send in 400 to cover a 9-11 form for the irs to receive my winnings…he is reassuring me that it is not a scam…he says the reason i have to pay for this form is because the winnings was not in my state of residence…he says the company has been there for 12 years….he is wanting me to wire money through a money gram to a cliston turner in newark, NJ….what does this person have to do with anything??? i need help…what should i do??

    1. Hi Alisha,

      This is a scam. At PCH the winning is always free and no purchase or fee is ever necessary. Please do not send the caller any amount of money.

      If you have further questions please call our customer service team at (800) 645-9242

      We also encourage consumers to visit our website at http://www.pch.com, click on the “Info Center” and follow the link to Consumer Affairs Alerts, where there is more valuable information on how to protect oneself and avoid falling victim to sweepstakes scams.

      Jodi @ PCH

  4. cataloged items was mispelled but you get the general idea. Competetive though you may be on magazines. Prices on your listings for 4 payments totalling $19.96 can be found –same name items at Dollar General and The Buck Stops Here stores. Be more competitive and I might order–but with shipping and handling added ??? Why bother?

    1. Hi Lawrence,

      We appreciate you for telling us that you found a better deal on merchandise offered by Publishers Clearing House. If you order an item from us and find the same item elsewhere that is cheaper, we will match the lower offer. However, it first must meet the following criteria:

      -Identical size, quantity, shape and function
      -Made by the same company (if it holds a trademark)
      -Available to the general public
      -Free of any quantity obligations (i.e.: buy 3 and receive for only $ __ . __).
      -Submitted within 30 days of the order

      We must then request that you send us a copy of the competitor’s offer for the identical item (please be sure to include your full name, mailing address and Order Number, if available) to:

      Publishers Clearing House
      101 Channel Drive
      Port Washington NY 11050

      Once we receive proof of the lower offer, we will review the competitor’s offer and make any necessary adjustments to your account.

      In order to bring our customers the unbeatable deals they’ve come to expect from us, we must charge each customer the appropriate shipping and handling costs — as all other catalogue companies do.

      If ordering online, the shipping & handling charges are specified under the link at the bottom of the entry/order form that says, “For details on applicable sales tax, shipping and handling and other charges click here”. If ordering by mail, these charges are detailed on the back of your product bulletins, on our product flyers, and in the middle of the magazine stampsheets (depending on the mailing you receive).

      Our current shipping & handling charges can be viewed on our web site by visiting Info Center –> FAQ –> How do I calculate shipping and handling charges? We apologize for any concern this may have caused.

      Jodi @ PCH

  5. As far as the “calogged” items you post as great values–Many of the items can be purched at such places as Dollar General stores for far less money and in my case better products. The plastic freezer backs were the very same items at a much lower price with no shipping and handling cost. I have checked many items and some “As seen on TV” stores even have your same products CHEAPER.

  6. I received a message telling me that I was one of the 211 finalists in the August 31 contest and as such I was to receive $1,000 payment if I did not win the top prize. To date I have not received my money. Why?


    1. Hi Sandra,

      Publishers Clearing House guarantees to award 21O $1,OOO.OO prizes in a nationwide Giveaway. A prize will be awarded in your local TV viewing area (or “Designated Market Area” as defined by Nielsen Media Research). This award could take place in your city/town since it’s within this Designated Market Area.

      For our latest list of area winners, please visit our website at http://www.pch.com and click on “Winners Circle” at the bottom of our homepage.

      Please be assured, if you are one of our lucky winners you will definitely be notified. If you are picked as a winner of a prize of $10,000 or more, you will be notified in person by the Prize Patrol. Prizes of under $10,000 are notified by certified mail or by courier. These awards are done as soon as all winning entries and prizes are matched. Our most recent winners can be found on the top of our web site on the scrolling bar and under the “Winners Circle” link. You may also view some of our winning moments at: http://www.pchtv.com.

      Our mailings are opportunities for a chance to win, and provide clear information that the recipient has not yet won any prize, must enter by the deadline, and must be chosen to win. In order to win an entry must be selected by random drawing or match the winning number selected. Please remember that while we receive entries from all across the land only one individual can actually win each giveaway.

      While we have promoted our famous sweepstakes for over 40 years as a way to draw attention to our unbeatable magazine deals and value-based merchandise offerings no purchase is ever necessary to enter or win. You may be interested to know that majority of our major prize winners have not ordered with their winning entry!

      Jodi @ PCH

    2. Like Sandra, I also received a letter indcating that I was one of 211 winners for the August 31 sweepstakes drawing. If not the main winner, then I was to receive $1000. Like Sandra, no winner on August 31 ($5,000 per week) and no $1000 payout. Why?

      1. Hi Beverly,

        For further assistance, please call our Customer Service at 1-800-645-9242 Monday – Friday from 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM ET. Any of our customer service representatives will assist you with this concern.

        Addison @ PCH

  7. hi, i contacted pch regarding a letter that i recieved the customer service agent i spoke to was very helpful, and took down all of the information, I was just wanting to notify everyone that it was a scam. It was an offical looking letter inclosed was a check for 4800 dollars to help with the processing fees. i faxed a copy of them both to pch i don’t belive in scamming anyone and i hope they get caught. i just wanted to say to anyone if the do get something like this always double check.

  8. My sister received a phone call which sound legit..but there is no way to check on the weekends..we have tried every thing available with no luck…the delivery company says they have a delivery scheduled at 4:30 tomorrow ( Sunday) but we can’t chack on anything else..the call was from National Asset Recovery acting as PCH agent…hohw do we know if thie is a scam..she lives alone and does not want someone showing up tomorrow at her fron dooe that is a scam

  9. I got a call this evening from a James Peterson, cell #876-875-3451. Telling me I won from PCH $355,000.00. It would be UPS ed to me as soon as I Western Unioned $895.00 to a Sharon Fife in Chilvs,PA 18407
    I’m to call him as soon as I wire him the cash. Then they will UPS to me in $100’s and $50’s a total of $355,000.00 cash. SURE THEY WILL, IN MY DREAMS !!!!!!

    1. Hi Darlene,

      You’re right, that’s definitely a scam. Remember, the winning at PCH is always free and no purchase or fee is ever necessary! We’ve reported the information you provided, but for future reference, you may report any scams by calling us at our toll-free number 1-800-645-9242. If you believe you have received a suspicious email using our name and logo, you may forward it to our fraud reporting mailbox, abuse@pch.com. We also encourage everyone to visit our website at http://www.pch.com, click on the “Info Center” and follow the link to Consumer Affairs Alerts, where there is more valuable information on how to protect yourself and avoid falling victim to sweepstakes scams.

      Rebecca @ PCH