Publishers Clearing House Scam

Publishers Clearing House Scam

By In Scam Alerts On December 12, 2016

On December 11, 2016, a citizen reported that she fell victim to a scam in which the suspects claimed that she won both the Publishers Clearing House and Reader’s Digest sweepstakes.  Multiple callers called her on multiple times and advised her that she won 5.5 million dollars and a new car.

Like most scams of this nature, the suspects advised the victim that in order to claim her prize she had to pay the processing fees and administrative costs of the transaction up front.  They would then release her $5.5 million dollars to her.

The victim sent a total of $22,000 to these scammers.

Here is information on how to protect yourself from this type of scam directly from the official blog of Publishers Clearing House:

1. If you’re required to wire or pay any amount of money in order to claim a prize, it’s a Publishers Clearing House Scam. PCH sweepstakes are ALWAYS FREE to enter, and there is never any fee associated with winning.

2. If you’re asked to load up a Green Dot MoneyPak  or other money transfer card, in exchange for claiming your prize, it’s a Publishers Clearing House Scam. Again, PCH will NEVER ask you to pay a cent to collect a prize.

3. If someone tries to contact you in advance regarding a prize delivery, it’s a Publishers Clearing House Scam! After all, that would ruin the surprise! For decades, our Prize Patrol has captured the elated reactions of surprised winners and used them in our nationally-televised commercials. You’ll know you’re a big PCH winner if you see the Prize Patrol at your front door holding a “Big Check” with your name on it!

4. If someone calls you on the telephone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House and says you have won, it’s a Publishers Clearing House Scam. Do NOT give them any personal information!  As stated above, the Prize Patrol awards all our Big Prizes in person and would never call you to update any personal information in our files.

5. If someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House tries to send you a friend request on Facebook, it’s a Publishers Clearing House Scam.  Even if they are using the name and photo of a prominent PCH employee  ―do NOT believe them. Our PCH employees and official PCH Prize Patrol Fan pages will never private message you on Facebook.

As always, report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.