Important Message: Protect Yourself From Scammers!

Most of us are trusting in nature and prefer to give each other the benefit of the doubt.  However, as we start a new year on the official PCHblog, please be forewarned  that sadly there are sweepstakes scammers out there who want nothing more than to take away your hard-earned money!  They attempt to trick or fool you into believing that they are PCH employees – or even members of our famous Prize Patrol.

Yes, it’s scary to think that there are people out there like that, but unfortunately it’s true.  The best way to protect yourself against sweepstakes scammers is to know the facts. So here are a few important tips:

PCH Employees NEVER Send Friend Requests on Social Media:

NEVER accept a Facebook friend request from Publishers Clearing House.  If you receive a friend request – even if it looks like it’s coming directly from the Prize Patrol – beware – it’s a SCAM! 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 legitimate.

Do NOT engage in Twitter or Instagram conversations with people pretending to be from PCH.  We would NEVER contact you this way!

You Never Have to Pay to Claim a PCH Prize:

The easiest way to spot a sweepstakes scam is if you are asked to pay or wire money to claim a prize.  Remember, at Publishers Clearing House the winning is ALWAYS FREE, and there are NEVER any fees to claiming a prize – EVER!  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!

If you are asked to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak prepaid card or any other cash card – DON’T DO IT!   The scammer will ask for the numbers located on the back of the card.  Once they have this information they are able to access the money quickly.  And once the money is gone, it’s gone forever.

PCH Never Calls Winners In Advance:

If someone calls or contacts you in any way to tell you that they are coming to award a prize, they are NOT from the real Publishers Clearing House. Publishers Clearing House would NEVER notify a winner in advance – that would spoil the surprise of the winning moment!

Never Give Out Personal Information:

Sweepstakes scammers are out to get your personal information!  NEVER give out your bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or even your drivers license number to someone you don’t know.

At PCH we work extremely hard to prevent deceptive scam contacts. If you believe you were contacted by a scammer, please fill out a Scam Incident Report .

I hope these tips are helpful.  Remember, here at Publishers Clearing House we love nothing more than to award BIG prizes to make dreams come true! We do our very best to make entering fun and exciting.  Remember, at PCH the winning is always FREE!

Jane M.
PCH Creative

More Blogs On This Important Topic:

How To Avoid Sweepstakes Scams!
Beware of PCH Scams On Instagram – Top 3 Ways To Spot A PCH Scammer!
It’s April Fools Day! But PCH Scams Are No Joke! 



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  1. The following are addresses associated with an email claiming I won $1,000,000. The return email address was claiming to be a fiduciary agent for pch, with a claim address at Hotmail (are they kidding!) of: I encourage Publishers Clearing House to try to trace and stop these illegal people

  2. i got a letter to confirm which payment I wanted if won, asked for 12.99 to an address in kansas city, Ks., is it legit?

  3. someone called and said the name as john general and said I won but asked for my social security number which I gave he’s suppose to call back at 10 am with my 250,000

    1. Hi Craig! That is not the real PCH calling you; it’s a scammer that’s only pretending to be from PCH. Please 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. I got 2 phone calls today saying I won $1.4 million and a new car – I only had to send $400. I hung up on him. The number he called from was 202-846-3965. Wish you could catch them!!!!

    1. Hello Phyllis, we’re glad you knew that wasn’t the real PCH. As tempting as it may be, we don’t encourage anyone to engage a scammer any longer than is minimally necessary. Simply tell them you know they’re a scam and hang up. PCH doesn’t notify major winners by phone, standard mail, email, or social media, and we never ask for money to claim a prize. Please report all scam contacts to PCH via the following link: You can also check out this FAQ for info on how you can block scammers from contacting you via Facebook: Stay safe everyone and be careful of scammers pretending to be the REAL Prize Patrol!

      1. Hi Steve, Thank you for contacting PCH. In order for us to assist you with your question we will need a bit more information. We kindly ask that you contact us by phone at your convenience. Our Technical Support representatives may be reached at 1-800-476-4724 between 8:30 am to 8:30 pm EST, Monday through Friday. We look forward to hearing from you.