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You Can’t Win

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an open mailbox with mailIs it your lucky day? If you’ve gotten a call or letter saying you’ve won a big cash prize, and just need to pay a small fee to claim it, maybe not.

The FTC has announced a case against an operation that allegedly sent millions of personalized, professional-looking letters to people saying a cash prize of more than $2 million was reserved, “guaranteed and deliverable,” just for them. All the “winners” had to do was return a form with a $20 or $30 acceptance or registration fee. The letters targeted older people in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and dozens of other countries; altogether, the scam took in more than $9 million from its victims.

But there was no prize, the FTC says. In fact, the hard-to-see fine print said the company doesn’t sponsor sweepstakes or award prizes at all, and is instead in the business of compiling a report of available sweepstakes. But there’s no evidence that people who paid got even that.

Still hoping for your golden ticket? There’s no need to give up sweepstakes altogether. Here’s what you should you know to avoid a prize scam:

You shouldn’t have to pay

Legitimate sweepstakes won’t make you pay money or buy something to enter or improve your chances of winning. That includes paying "taxes" or "shipping and handling charges" to claim a prize.

The prizes aren’t so great

If you do pay to redeem a prize, you’ll find it isn’t worth much or the "vacation" is anything but luxurious. You may end up paying far more than the prize is worth, if you get a prize at all.

Many prize promoters sell the information they collect to advertisers

When you sign up for a contest or drawing at a store, a mall, or another public place or event, instead of a prize, you could get more promotions in the mail, more telemarketing calls, and more spam email. So even if it takes a magnifying glass, read the fine print. That’s often where promoters hide the details about their business practices.

Read Prize Offers for more.

Tagged with: prize, scam, sweepstakes
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


How do I get Pub. Clearing House to stop sending me entries via emails and the games to earn extra chances to win. I've written and asked them to stop but they keep sending them.

I Hear you.....If I never ever entered.....How do they know to inform me....What A bunch of Bull (Frogs)lol

I have loads of this type of mails. I have always ignored them.

I get a letter every week

I also ignor them - I think pub clearing house is the worse.......

I hate these!!! Lucky I have never paid anything, but I just google the copy of the letter and usually find out it's a scam.

Sunday, 9/29/13: I get an average of 3-5 calls per day from foreigner speaking people informing me of an amount of money won. The worst and most persistant (!) is the JM Kingston, phone no. 876-588-1530. They have called me this afternoon (Sunday) about 5-7 times and will not take no for an answer. Just ignore them and eventually they will go away. Meanwhile, I'm rolling in the dough I won:) !!!

Also watch for more 876area code as well as 1-450-369-0985. Out of country / scammers . Spomeone named steven bradberry, Definitely not real name.

Every day, 10-15 times per day around the clock I've been getting calls from what sounds like a Jamaican man telling me I won the National Lottery 3.5 million dollars and a 2013 Mercedes car. Of course I know it's a scam. At first I told them to stop calling, then I started yelling at them and slamming the phone. Months later and they are still calling: 3am 5am 7am 11pm 1am...all hours. The main number they call from is 773-945-5517 "TTSCONSULTING" is on the caller ID. What a nightmare and when will it end? :-(

Moore,Hernandez and Associates LLP
Southhampton NY Supposedly settling claims from an FTC gaming investigation in Florida I don't know anything about this but they want $1000 RETAINER to get $450,000 !!!

My Mom, who is 83, has sent $27,500 (that I know of) to a Jamaican scam and they want $18,000 more. The family is distraught and have finally been pushed into filing for guardianship... Is there anything the FTC can do to protect our vulnerable senior citizens? All advice thus far is that, "She's over 21 and can do whatever she wants with her money." I realize that, but is she protected from them getting their hands on her Social Security? I feel so helpless...

Have the phone carrier block specific numbers. Block all international numbers. Block all 876 numbers. Just keep insisting with your carrier and they will do it. Call the U.S. Postal Inspection service and they will block that 876 number from calling "any" U.S. number. Call Social Security to ask how to protect her SS check (it is not yet protected). Have your family member tested for dementia. Yes. Dementia. Change her number to unlisted. Get her a cell phone on your family plan with parental controls.

My friend was called by a James Richman at 876-473-8525 saying she'd won a lot of money and a new BMW. In order to get the BMW delivered, she needed to send $3,800 cash to a Brooklyn, NY address. She was gullible and did this. We tried to get the P.O. to intercept the package and faxed the post office in Brooklyn - but they delivered the package anyway. My poor friend has also received calls from Jeff Sanchez at 646-289-8430 and a Jack Peterson at 202-509-0683 all asking for money in order to receive her winnings. I'm trying to help her realize these are scams.

I received a call today from a John Berry, but first he said his name was John Washington, he said they had been trying to get a hold of me by mail. I had a check from Publishers Cl. House for 5.5 million. They wanted to deliver it today.All I needed to do was go and get a green dot moneypack scratchcard for $999.00 to cover the registration fee... When I kept questioning him he got flustered and hung up... the call was from Jamacia 876-422-2437.

The SAME thing happened to my Grampa yesterday!! The phone number was 516-515-6165, reverse says NY, Nassau, Bahamas. Fortunately I got on the phone with "JOHN" and grilled him of WHY he's requesting $, I'll give it to them when they deliver the car. I told him a thing or two before he "accidentally? hung up on me.
Even after that...Get this, the SAME GUY called Grampa AGAIN today saying "I really don't want you to miss out on this", (this being a check for $2.5mill and a new Mercedes which he said ALL DAY LONG yesterday "it's on it's way now").

I received a call from Consumer's Union saying I won second prize of $500,000. They wanted to know when I would be home to deliver the check by International courier Express. They asked some non-specific questions then turned it over to an "attorney" Matthew Harvey. He then told me he works with HSBC Bank for the taxes on my winnings and needs a minimum of $2,000 from my bank. He will call back in 30 minutes to get the information and I am to wire it to him. I am NOT doing anything like that. Instead I am trying to warn other people of this scam.

I was Facebook one night~ I started receiving messages from Micheel C         /Dr Michael C      (the real Michael C           ~is my Facebook friend & is affiliated with a church/pastor) make a long story short~ said I had won a BMW & $1,000,000. I played along with them~ they showed documents with the Publishers Clearinghouse letterhead~said that in order to activate my golden seal~ I needed to go too WalMart and do a money transfer~make the money transfer payable to Mario Ricketts in Snellville,Georgia.

My husband has gotten ALL of those SCAM CALLS.If he got ALL the "MONEY" he "WON" ,we would be Billionaires! Plus,we would have 5 Mercedes in the yard!It is sooooo hard to convince him that they are SCAMS. THANKS FOR ALL THE INPUT FROM ALL OF YOU. Now,if I can get HIM to read this page ,MAYBE it will SINK IN !! Wish me luck!

If you get a call or text from (623)-738-5759 ignore it, he says he's from the US Empowerment group and you've been chosen to receive a check for $50,000.00. He will give you an address near you of a check cashing place where you will be told to send $975.00 in order to collect your "winnings". Do not fall for this scam. He will already know your address, phone number and email. Report him right away to consumer fraud. I tried to call the police and they were no help at all.

I was wondering who do I report to about scams call my house?
Kingston JM 1-876-434-1303 keeps calling my house. Saying I won money as a sweepstakes knowing I didn't enter in anything.

First they said they were the mega millions. I called bull on that. then I made them put me though the manger and he said he was pch (publishers clearing house) still called bull. I told them I was going to report them if they keep calling.
I ask what they want and that I am not stupid I know what they are trying to get. I heard kids in the background. I had them tell me that there was nothing I can do and that they want my money. So try and report us.

I even ask where they are calling from nigeria. Not in the sates like the mega millions and pch are from.

So I need help.... thanks

You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at

Watch this video to learn more about how to report a scam to the FTC and why it matters.

Just got a scam about a lottery on facebook and my username ask for my info and I gave it to them they were pretending to be one of my facebook friends. Saying that she won a facebook lottery pls post this do no one else will give out their info. Just got had!

Just got a letter saying that I came in 2nd place thing for it It had a check in itfor some drawing and that this firm would handle everything for couple of thousand dollars with my name o . Now their not asking for any money up front the checkis supposed to pay for the proce ssing fee some mail courier is supposed to deliver my check now the check looks really real just don't know if its true!!!!!!!!! I TOOK THE CHECK TO THE BANK and had them look at it to see if was real they were unsure so don't know how to see if its a scam or real

The article Fake Checks provides advice on how to recognize a fake check scam. It can be really hard to tell if a check is a forgery and it can take weeks to be discovered and untangled. Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check have been deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check.

I was told I dont have any Credit.

Received a phone call that I had won $865,000. Congratulations! A claims representative will call me in a few minutes as to the process of receiving it. I received a phone call from Jason Adams 757-204-3007 who said they would deliver the check the next day with a tax form and a refund of $475 which I would have to wire to Agent Michael Washington in Atlanta, GA. This was to cover my part of the "insurance" to get the courier to my door with the check. Totally refundable. Foolishly, I sent the money. Next call from Jason was that I needed to pay a "luxury tax" on the money since it was from overseas. I did some research and discovered this was a scam. I did tell Mr. Adams that I would not continue with the process and I wanted my money returned. He said he would call back with the confirmation # from Western Union. Have not heard from him in over 2 weeks. Scammed!

We have been receiving calls from "Kingston, JM", and it s clearly a scam: "you have won a sweepstake... please confirm an id number, DOB, etc". We have told them to stop calling, but to no avail...
They keep on calling from different numbers, same id: one from 915-792-2849, all the others come from (876):
1. 876-268-3629
2. 876-279-6375
3. 876-349-7847
4. 876-355-2822
5. 876-357-3700
6. 876-375-7698
7. 876-375-8859
8. 876-426-1579
9. 876-432-7031
10. 876-485-8521
11. 876-496-5501
12. 876-892-1644
13. 876-893-4515

I found this address to report: abuse
what else to do?

Please add this number for jm Kingston 876-344-2914. A man called two times last night saying we won millions and a Mercedes. Hung up on him and he called back asking me if I wanted 5.5 million dollars. Figured it was a scam.

JM Kingston call my 99 year old aunt this morning about five times. She kept hanging up on him because she is hard of hearing. So the sitter finally answer the phone. This Kingston person told her he needed to talk with my aunt and he was going to get her money. He cursed out my sitter and called her all kinds of "B" and "F's" words. I don't care if this is a scam he has no right to curse anyone out. Something has to be done about this person. I won't stop until he feel the pain.

I got 3 calls from this person this morning saing his name was john fisher, saying I had won 2.7 million dollars and a black and white mercades benz. Wallgreens confirmed this is a scam!

I received a call from one Madison, & then a Jason Adams, who stated he was from Consumer Protection Agency (757) 204-3007, stating that I had been chosen to receive $825,000. That I would have to pay $475 for insurance and processing thru Fed-Ex and the ck would be delivered tomorrow afternoon. Would need to get Moneygram from Walmart and send "wire to wire" to Walmart in Atlanta, Georgia to one Jason Redmond, 13th Street. I called Fed-Ex, explained the situation and the woman at Fed-Ex said the charge would only be $35.19 at the most! They keep calling back with 2 numbers: (757) 204-3007 and (757) 204-3103. See "Frenchie /10/11/14 above. Then one "Gordon Lewis" called back (757) 204-3103, saying he was Jason Adams' supervisor and asked if I had taken care of the Western Union wire. When I told him I called Fed-Ex and it would only cost me $35.19, he hung up. SCAM-SCAM.

I am getting calls from James something stating I won 250 million & 2 cars what I want to know is where is the TV crew that's big news there

Today I received a call from John Berry saying I won 2.5 million and a car. He had asked me how far was Walmart to me I told him 500 miles away from me. I told him I am from a alaska in a village. He then just hung up on me. The number called from jamaica 18765368093

steven from 906-680-4865 but more likely from Bangladesh calls to say we won a 500,000 drawing for shopping at walmart and fred meyer.he states we just had to sit back and wait for UPS to call...LOL,when you look up the number it is some shady ambulance chaser in florida.

Yesterday (6/22/15)JM Kingston called me from 876-590-0196. Said his name was "Bob Miller" from Publishers Clearing House, and I won $955,000 and a 2015 Mercedes Benz. Went on this long speech about how his delivery team would be at my house at 10:30 the next morning, and all I needed to do was send $299 via western union to pay for the delivery. He said "James Carter" and "Betty Jones" would be coming to my house to do my 15 minute "presentation". Even though I knew it was a scam, he was a very smooth talker. He made promises and swore up and down that this was a "once in a lifetime opportunity". I called PCH last night, reported the incident, and they confirmed that it was a scam. "Bob Miller" called my house SEVEN times today. When I would hang up, he would call again. I called my phone company and had the number blocked. This makes me so sad for the innocent people that are losing money to criminals that don't deserve it. This topic should really be on the news telling people the phone numbers and names that these jerks are using. :(

Thank you for sharing your experiences. These are useful details for a complaint.  Please go to to report this. Blog comments are not entered into the database that law enforcement uses.

I received a call this afternoon from someone saying his name was "Miles Montego",from Publishers Clearing House in Jamaica, 867-432-7031 with a very strong accent, he went on to tell me that I won 2.5 million dollars and a Mercedes Benz. I knew it was a SCAM the second I answered the phone, but this was one smooth talking con artist. He went to the extent of telling me to write things and even gave me a confirmation number. He told me to keep this information safe, so no one would try to claim my prize other than me. Then he went on to say I'm going to need some personal information from you, Name, address, DOB, that's when I hung up! (I'd really like to know how you win Publishers Clearing House if they don't even know your name?! LOL) A few minutes later I called the number back and a guy with a strong accent answered (using a different company name) I said, "excuse me, what number is this?" He quickly said Publishers Clearing House in Jamaica. I ask him where is Publishers Clearing House home office based? (He couldn't tell me) and kept saying Jamaica. The real Publishers Clearing House, sure as hell isn't based in Jamaica! Senior citizens, be careful and be aware of calls like this (THEY ARE SCAMS!!!) And they are preying on the elderly. Unfortunately, so many people especially senior citizens, fall victim to these SCAMS everyday. These con artists are very skilled at what they do, and in the things they say to make you believe what they are telling you is true. These jerks are trying harder all the time with giving confirmation numbers, and such, trying to make it seem "real" They will tell you any number of lies to get what they want in personal information and your money. They will take every penny you have and not think twice.. PLEASE DON'T FALL FOR IT!!! Anyone that asks you to send them ANY money or asks for personal information, such as social security number, to claim a prize is DEFINITELY A SCAM!!! It comes back to that old saying "If it sounds too good to be true... it always is" don't give these con artist your money OR your personal information (no matter what they tell you, no matter how good it sounds) there's tons of information out there on scams and con artists, on what they do and the things they say to try and convince you to trust them. Inform yourself and protect yourself. Let's try to make sure these jerks get one more dime!

Thank you for sharing your experiences. These are useful details for a complaint.  Please go to to report this. Blog comments are not entered into the database that law enforcement uses.

they r very so much a scam and they tried to get me to.

I received the same call from a person named Roye Rosenberg he told me I won $1.5 million dollars and a new car plus I'll get $10 thousand evry week and the number was a (876) number that keep calling me

If you’re getting repeated calls from the same number, your phone company may be able to block that number, but first ask whether there’s a fee for this service.

If you’re getting unwanted calls from a lot of different numbers, look into a call blocking solution. There are online call blocking services, call blocking boxes, and smartphone apps that block unwanted calls. Do an online search to look for reviews from experts and other users, and find out whether the service costs money.

John Berry called me today from 702-623-7079 saying I won millions and a car. Will file a complaint.

Hello! i have just got a congratulatory alert while browsing informing that i have won $500 and that i should fill in my name and email so that i get my winning through my email within five minutes ,now almost four hours have passed but its can i possibly it aint scamming?

I received from scam email claim lottery,imf,capital one bank,gtbank,mr sydney baroso. All fraud and scam email. I hope i will win money true. Thank you

I get calls from 856 numbers claiming Ive won money and a car and they ask if I want my prize delivered in private or publicly on the news. I play right along with them until they finally realize that I'm playing with their head like they're trying to play with mine and they get so pissed off with me that they start cursing and hang uP lol. They'll say all you have to pay is the shipping and handling or they'll say all you have to pay is a processing fee. I told them I'm a single mother with 6 children and we're homeless and I have no job or money. They'll still go as far to ask me... Well do you receive any social security for yourself or the kids? I tell them no and I said when you send me the money then you take the fee out of the check that you're sending that I'm supposed to pay. That will make it a while lot easier. He even said, this is your blessing from God, how do you plan on spending the money? He even recalled the last 4 of my SSN. I thought that was weird.

I been targgeted by many scammers all over . autralia, europe , jamaica, china, tokio, japan, cincinnaty, las vegas,flirida, washington dc. Ilinois, penssylvania colorado, kansas city, rome, rusia, many others . i get phone calls from every where,emails impostors of tresury dep on wdc also the phone calls if i said to them what they really are they get pist at me and start cursing me out saind that there not scammers that to claim the price by sending them $ 500.00 dollars that they will deliver the packege personally it self that u will there face . next day . yeaa like i was born yesterday. How can people do such thing for money .they will sale there virgin dougther 12 years old to anyone just to make another $20.00 bucks. Life is all about money for peoples now there's no more respect for life and families is sad .i just hope the government take actions in this matter that is getting poor people into identity stolen imposters and name robbers out there looking to make someone life a headik.

Facebook wants to give me $500,000 prize for a promotion to Facebook

For the sixth time this year (every two months) Publishers Clearing House is NOT awarding their "mega prize" in their so-called "special early look." Surprise, surprise! Like who couldn't see this coming? This is just a scam to keep the promotion going for a year until they HAVE to award the "mega prize" (and I doubt if they really ever do that, either). PCH got into trouble about 17 years ago with Congressional hearings about their questionable business practices. Not only has the "winning number" not been returned, or "timely returned" this year, but the year before, also. The FTC should investigate PCH again, and soon!

I just got a call from a guy saying his name is Ashley brown. An that I won 9.9 million dollars with a Benz. Said two u.s Marshall will be delivering me my money. But I have to go to Walmart an do a Walmart to walmart to a man name OD FRAZIER in Sibley, LA. That's when I knew it was a scam. He said wen I get receipt they will be on there way with my money

Received call January 25, 2017 from "Mr. David Sawyers" from a clearinghouse in New York he said. Asked to spell his last name, he replied "s a r y e". Said I'd won 1.5 million and a new car, gave me name of four people that would arrive at 5:30 p.m. same day to delivery my "package" and my code word was "silver briefcase". Gave me the address of his company which I couldn't understand what he said, but the zip code was 10220 which is Malaysia. I asked how they got my unlisted phone number; he said I'd given to a clearinghouse which I've never done, and I discovered apparently this has happened in New York. The Publisher's Clearinghouse rep is Dave Sawyer. I hung up, he called back but I didn't answer, I entered *69 and got the phone number of 876-781-9077. The area code is Jamaica.


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