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Fake Publishers Clearing House scams

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Most of us have seen those ads with Publishers Clearing House knocking on someone’s door with balloons and a big check for millions. It’s a life-changing moment marked by joyous tears. Dreams are about to come true.

But the FTC wants to be sure your tears are not sad ones and the dream doesn’t wind up being a nightmare, because scammers are pretending to be Publishers Clearing House and tricking people into sending them money.

Publishers Clearing House and the FTC have both gotten many reports about scammers using the Publishers Clearing House name to deceive people. Scammers call, claiming you’ve won the sweepstakes – but, to collect your prize, you need to send money to pay for so-called fees and taxes.

Paying to collect a prize is a scam. Every time. And scammers like to ask you to send money by Western Union or MoneyGram, or by getting a prepaid card or gift card. Why? Because it’s nearly impossible to trace that money – and you’ll almost never get your money back.

If you think you’ve won a prize, here are a few things to know:

  • Publishers Clearing House will never ask you to pay a fee to collect a prize. In fact, no legit prize promoter will ever charge you to win.
  • If anyone calls asking you to pay for a prize, hang up and report it to the FTC.
  • Never send money to collect a prize. It’s a scam.

And here’s another insider tip: Publisher's Clearing House doesn’t call ahead to say you’ve won.

Did you send money to a prize scammer, or know someone who has? Report the loss immediately to the company you paid through (Western Union, MoneyGram, the prepaid or gift card company). And then tell the FTC. And, if you wired money to a scammer via Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you might be eligible for a refund. Learn more.

Check out Publishers Clearing House’s fraud protection page, and learn more from the FTC about prize scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Well that is good that the federal trade commission is making sure that the people who are in the top 3 VIP royal members of publisher clearance house give the three people including my self that been a member with publishers clearance house does Give the top 3 three people that is in the winning circle for the 10 million dollars sweepstakes with publisher clearance house to the people who has been playing since 1998 when I joined publisher clearnce house the sweepstakesame for the 10 million dollar winner I been in the game over 15 years now I should have already won the 10 million dollars sweepstakes from publisher clearance house my winnings to Me that would be nice for theme to show up at my door with the news camera team to surprised you when you answer your front door

Last month i was playing publishers clearing house games and it popped up on the screen congratulations you won 10000 for customer appreciation day then i got a email stating that it was a mistakes just two weeks ago i was playing publishers clearing house play and spin and won 1000 visa gift card after a purchased a trial of iconic which i received but havent received my pch gift card it hasn't been two weeks yet but if i don't receive it i am going to start to fill like there is some kinda of scam who likes to get excited about winning and then be told it was a mistake i don't

Sorry to hear this the same thing happen to me . I just can't understand how they can get away by scamming people . Sorry FTC .PCH are scammers themselves and really want you to believe the little schemes they play are from scammers . Sorry I got the proof of it and I kept every email and letter from them first day I started . The reason I did is because you can not trust them . I try to give them a chance and they fail 3 times . Not because I didn't win because they are dishonest and when you catch them they kick you to the curb and then play all them schemes . Never trust this company and sorry FTC you are backing them up that's wrong it self . i filed a complaint and I want it follow through 100%

PCH is a scam anyway so I am not surprised at others taking advantage and running different scams. I stopped dealing with PCH in the early 80's. Nobody wins. They just want you to purchase junk. I don't answer is numbers I don't know and don't open emails that state congratulations or free walmartor amazon card. My 83-year-old mother never answers phone numbers she doesn't know and do NOT order ASOTV. That's another ripoff.

Thanks so much for your statement. My family has been with this mess for decades yet we no absolutely no one who's EVER won anything from them. Maybe one day they will shut this con down.

Gerrianne Stroman, PCH connected me to St. Jude research hospital so that i can give to a company that are helping sick children and i will always be grateful for that because givers gonna give and helping sick children is reward enough for THIS giver.

I JUST GOT A CALL ,that was was a sCAM BUT WHEN I WAS TALKING TO HIM … I ask him what his name he SAID that he was general mana ger of P. c.H his name and he said again , and he said ANDY goldfBE ber.h .so I wanted to just hang up on him HE MADE ME SO ANGERY I can not even think ,SO PLEASE EXCUSE MY .WRITING just a warning the scamers are out in full force !!!

Thanks for the information. We knew it was a scam, so here is the phone number...originating in Jamaica 876-887-6886.....this scam is register at Walmart for 1500.00 to win 2.5 million.

I have been receiving RESTRICTED calls on my work cell phone since 9/27/2017. I picked up the first by accident. Couldn't get the guy to stop bugging me. He had a thick accent and said I had won a large sum of money (couldn't understand exactly how much). He needed to fax me some papers to sign to decline the prize. I said I didn't have a fax machine. I asked him the name of his company and he said something like “American Global Awards”. (I lost the paper it was written on … that name is incorrect because it doesn’t come up on the computer now.) I looked up the name later and it was associated with some scams. He said I would have to go to Home Depot or one of those places where he could fax me. I said certainly not. I asked where he was from and he said something like American Global Awards. I looked up I finally gave him my work email (he doesn't have my name or personal info) to send the papers. I didn't get anything until 10/2. I got an email from "Maryjblidge" (sent from email address Bonniejones509 ) saying in the subject line "Re: From mr. David Johnson. call me at my number( 701)2892396". No message. A couple hours later I received another email from John Carter (from email address Maryjblidge523 ) with a subject line “From Mr. Gereld Johnson. call me at my number( 701)2892396”. About 15 minutes after that I received two restricted phone calls that I did not answer and one from 876-451-9645 (Jamaica) that I answered by mistake as I was driving and used hand controls to answer. It was the same guy as on 9/27. He wanted to know if I had gotten his email. I said no and told him I couldn’t talk because I was driving and hung up. Yesterday and today I have received two restricted calls around 5 pm. I’m not answering.

I have been receiving calls from this Jamaica number for months. Today I answered and he told me he knows where I live after asking to be taken off his calling list. I finally asked him how stupid he thought i was... he got very explosive, calling me a few expletives and telling me I should watch my back. Before he has asked me to meet him at a train station on one of his numerous “unknown” numbers.

I have been receiving calls from this Jamaica number for months. Today I answered and he told me he knows where I live after asking to be taken off his calling list. I finally asked him how stupid he thought i was... he got very explosive, calling me a few expletives and telling me I should watch my back. Before he has asked me to meet him at a train station on one of his numerous “unknown” numbers.

Yes the called me today told me I needed a 495$ receipt

I had the exact same phone call originating from Jamaica. Number was different. 876-370-6886. Hope this helps someone.

Today I received a call originating from Jamaica (876) 420-2026, stating that I won $3.500.000 and a car. I must return the call if I want to claim my prize. Neediness to say I was WOWed but knew deep down that it was a scam. So of course I did not call and researched this. Thank everyone for their post and this is what we need to do to combat these criminals.

SCAM!! I received a call from Jamaica today stating that I was a 2nd place winner. He said his name was David Sawyer and that I should call this number, 903-459-6038 and ask for Albert Johnson to get my prize. He called from 876-361-5455. It is so sad that some people have nothing better to do!!

I too got a call from Mr. Miller who works for an Albert Johnson. They said that they worked for Publishers Clearinghouse and I had won 1.9 million dollars and a 2020 car. He said I should send them $950 to clear the taxes from the IRS and they would deposit the money into my account. The numbers they used were 1 876- 49-2645, 931-330-0199, and 18164204632. The first one was a Jamaican number. He wanted me to send the money via money gram or Western Union to an Asonte Roswell in Fort Saint Lucie Florida. When I asked for proof before I sent the money, he got very angry and argumentative stating that he worked for the IRS and he was rich and didn't need my small $950. After trying to convince me that he was ah honest guy who was trying to help me, I ended the call and I finally hung up. He called me the following day (the day of this post) and asked if I was ready to pick up my winnings. I said sure just send me the documents stating that I won. He got upset and hung up the phone. Please be careful everyone the IRS does not request you send anything under an employee's name and always get proof of identification before having any kind of conversation with these criminals.

I have received calls from these people. They want me to wire 900.00 to a man named Carl E Feller, whom I goggled! He is 81 years old and lives in Indiana. They will not stop calling me. I have begged, screamed, cursed and just am going nuts. I am talking 50 to 60 calls a day! They are now threatening my life and my family. What Can I do? I have hit the scam line at PCH they are no help! I need help!! If something happens to me they will be behind it! This is not a joke it’s a nuc

This FTC article about blocking unwanted calls has some ideas for you.

If you answer the calls yourself and talk to the scammers, that tells them you are at home, and they may keep calling and trying to get your money. Some people use an answering machine instead of answering every call themselves. 

Change your phone number or ,easier still, block every number they call you from, after every call. This way it becomes harder for them to reach you until they simply give up. This is what I did and have been able to keep my sanity. God bless you and stay strong!

OH MY GOD I HAD A CALL TODAY "DAVID SAWYER 876-801-5306 CALLED AND MENTIONES ID WON $2.5 MILLION ,$10,000 every Wed for 64 years gave prize pakg # a reference # a release of funds # International winning code and best of all A Bank of America Check Certificate # as well as stated to me about release fee charge and to have the $285000.taxes government charges coming from the 1.5 mill but pay a 199.99 cost and it gets rwfunded once check has been released...thus funny talking guy even gave FBI FDIC and BBB approval and 3 names to arrive with my winnings of a car a $10000.00 cash release with balloons & news..I asked this guy to come get get me why do I need to go to Walmart...Hahaha I got excited because I really started to believe him when he began Speaking of God and how God is blessing me with this today and to trust him..Lord I had prayed and asked God for financial help just the early 5am praying time so this why my adrenaline got the beat of me and I bussed up to Walmart called everyone I could think of, so guess what "Don't do it Its a SCAM! You nevwr need to pay for a prize or cash winnings" well Im back home sad but happy I didn't send any $ out....I pray I dont be anxious and desperate so I won't Easily Deceived....Please someone help me report this caller/person so no one gets financially hurt....this sickening selfish and of evil spirit...

I got the same call today. Ridiculous.

I called the police in my area, and gave them “fresh work” their Cyber guys will take care of the rest!

I got the same call today. Ridiculous.

Got the same Publisher’s Clearing house call today on my daughters phone. Knew it was a scam before I even answered. Played along with the guy calling from a Jamaica number, who said I won $250,0000 and a new car. We got cut off just when he asked me if I could cover the amount of the taxes. Of course he never even mentioned my name the entire time. I called back just to see how far this guy would take the scam. He asked me to drive to the nearest Walmart while he stayed in the line. He was trying to get $259 out of me as a tax bill for $250k? How stupid do these people think we are? Anyway, we got cut off again and I just let it go, as I was getting bored. Tried to report it on this FTC site, but it is supper hard, not user friendly.

I won $850,000 plus $10,000 per wk for life, plus a 2019 Camry for only $250 on an amazon gift card! Whoooo hoooooo! I am so excited! ( Not!).

Was this a scam... got the same call and trying to find out if scam. Never asked for $$$$$ or never asked for bank info please help

Hi Banxious: Well, today, April 12, 2019, I had a call from David Sawyer, from tel. number 236-818-2424. He sais he was from PCH and I won $275,000USD - how great is that? I thought it was a SCAM from the start. He really wanted my bank account number. How sweet! and what a nice try. I hung up on him and then blocked his tel. number.

I had the same thing happen to me. The one thing they don't change is the name David Sawyer. Fast talking and then he throws in his "Christianity" which makes us relax a bit. He is SO FAR from being a Christian. I did not comply with anything except calling the Western Union # which I regret, as it looked like I was actually going to fall for it. When money was mentioned it was the last straw. He called back twice but I hung up. Sickening what people do to others. I wish we were protected at all from these scammers. I fear that nothing will ever be done to stop, let alone punish these felons.

September 7 2019
just received a call today originating from Jamaica from a man with a phony accent calling himself a Mr. Michael Anderson and has worked for PCH for 25 years batch # 209 Mr. Michael asked me if I wanted my winning private or public I said private I was informed that I had won 7.5 million dollars and a brand new Mercedes benz in the choice of my color in order to receive my prize I had to open a new bank account in my name for 25.00 or less and they would deposit the taxes into that account that I needed to pay taxes on the prize that I won he then proceeded to give me a Brooklyn new York phone # for PCH # 917 631 7884 also gave me the phone # to call him back on after opening up the account so they could forward the tax money # 876 396 3126 or 5126 hope this help some one not to fall in the scammers trap!

I received a call tonight saying the above that Edith wrote,, From Sept 7, 2019 .After I hung up on him , then I called back, Guy used the name of James carter Phone number was from Jamaica Area code. Said he needed to have $35,000.00 up from to send me the winnings of 3.5 Millions.. Anyway , I gave him alot of question to answer and he hung up.. this is so terrible ,
I think to give him a nightmare from Hell his phone number is 1-876-566-1391 . Someone with that kind of money is going to fall for his tricks. He needs to be stopped.

I also got a call from a James Carter with the phone number 3157879468 saying I won, but when I called back it was a Dave Sawyer that I talked to. When I said I had no money to pay fees, he wanted me to open up an account so they could send me money to it to pay for fees. He also had a woman talk to me and wanted my social security number and bank account number but I told them I would not give out that information. The other names they gave that would come to my house was Debra Hollen, Andrew Goldberg, and Peter Myers. The ID # for Dave was 1113

They tried to get me from that 876 number. A guy that tried to make me believe that his name was James Peterson called with a bunch of bologna and wanted me to send 300.00 for my percentage of the 2.5 million....They were passed off at me for catching on to them so they kept on calling back saying well If you don't need it we will give it to someone else...I said that further lets me know that you are not as you say you are. They lacked professionalism .....Using broken English.....and Disnt have a clue as to how to articulate what they were trying to say to me.....Too funny....I hung up and blocked them.

Same here. Jamaica number.

Got same call about 25 mins ago. I am totally acting like i am buying it. Gonna waste my time I gonna totally use their valuable scamming hrs. Lol

Calls from ALL 876-xxx-xxxx phone Numbers ARE SCAMMERS!! I’ve just finished compiling a list of over 198 of these numbers; 176 Stateside Numbers with different area codes where they’ve scammed people into sending them phones and at least 157 “FAKE” Names used that are associated with these numbers and them. They hacked the Social Security Office over 9 years ago and have info on our Seniors and those on Pensions.

All callers state they are from PCH but are NOT. Myself, Ms. Wilma C-TN; Mr. Frank L-PA; have ALL been SCAMMED out of over $50,000.00+ from these folks and I’m sure there are many, many others. They DON’T CARE if you have food to eat or money to pay your bills or even gas in your car.
They want you to buy and to mail them NEW Iphones (US phone #’s); Open bank accounts and send them the debit cards; Mortgage your homes; Sell your Life Insurance to pay the taxes and Pawn your vehicle or other items of value to pay the “FEE” they want. They even WANT you to PAY FOR TIME ON THEIR 876 PHONES SO THEY CAN KEEP SCAMMING PEOPLE!

They change their names with the call and fees – I’ve been told that they are, “LIVING ON $45.000.00 -$135,000.00 A MONTH, HAVE MANSIONS, MAIDS; GARDNERS AND DRIVE COMPANY CARS BUT FIND IT HARD TO LIVE ON SUCH A SMALL AMOUNT.”

Just got a call 876-789-3131. Said I won 3.5 billion dollars and a Mercedes. Financial Freedom. Publishers Clearing house Powerball.

Novice - I've been entering PCH sweepstakes for over 40 years - not even a free magazine subscription.

I've been scammed by 2 people asking me to send money for taxes and fees for my winnings. But I found out thay they will not do that. They will not ask you for no money to be sent to receive your winnings. It just sucks that I'm not an actual winner.

My husband just got a letter in the mail from the Executive Vice President Publisher Clearing House stating that he has to claim his winnings. Has anyone else been receiving letters from them as well?

My mother received a letter from the Executive vice president PCH stating she needed to call and claim her prize. It came with a check from a company called Cost Less Carpet Tri-Cities, Inc. It was referred to as a sponsorship check to assist with out of pocket expenses. Seems like a scam to me!

Are you there???

As previously stated, my complaint is that the odds of winning are nil! Last time I counted, odds were 1 in 250,000,000 (that's Billion)
Now, I see from television ads that the "grand prize" has been limited to $15,000. Same old, same old!
Bottom line is that, if someone doesn't order something, their "entry" isn't entered.
This was proven back in the "70's when garbage trucks full of non-purchases were observed on T.V. being unloaded at a landfill!

Rod you forgot the other 3 zeros to make 250 billion (250,000,000,000).

Does it matter? I think people know what he means.

Actually it does matter. It helps bring things full circle in a way. When you see all those digits printed out so plainly like helps to get a better visual of the audacity these worthless con artists possess. The people that are scammed are far from ignorant. What they are is hopeful and even when their better judgement tells them "no", they always have that " yeah, but what if..." in the back of their mind. These con artists play on the HONEST and to most of us, myself included, it is just unfathomable the lengths these low lifes go to in order to steal their way through life. We all know they exist. But because WE do not behave in this manner it is always shocking to discover their latest scams. So the numbers really do matter. We need to see them in all of their entirety to fully wrap our minds around the deplorable and shameful behaviors of these useless dregs breathing up our good air.

I totally agree. If you don't order something, it just keeps taking you round and round until you get tired and order something just to get out of the maze. Now after "you are entered" they come back with something "just one more thing to complete your entry". It should be against the law. This is Publishers Clearinghouse and the way they do should absolutely be against the law.

I stop completely all they want you to do is to order stuff some of it good other is really cheap . There games are fake and do not work . When you complain they blame you will I caught them in their lies . PCH is a scam on it's on . If they weren't liars then I would not say so . As a professional I did my own test and they fail on all events . I do not see how The F.T.C can stand up to them . Now all you that have been taken in over their fake games and all false ads . Join a First Class Action Suit Against Them !!!!!!!!!

Okay, they seem to be not a scam but a humongous SCAM. Have you monitored their “Token Leader Board” this year? I have and witnessed the leaders going from one to four BILLION TOKENS to the current leader Kathyln S to over THIRTY BILLION ! This is mathematically impossible and needs to STOP! A Class Action Law Suit needs to be created to STOP these dishonest cheating so called BLACK DIAMOND players in continuing their monopoly of receiving expensive prizes and millions of dollars in game payouts. Please respond from those who AGREE in stopping this so called LOTTERY SCAM in continuing. I’m a Black Diamond member and have had my fill with this companies false games and token program. We need to stand up against these cheats, hackers and dishonesty.

How can we all who have been scammed by the real PCH join our hands across America and file on he'll of a PCH class action Lawsuit? Indiana, Florida and many other states have sued PCH and won. The US Senate chaired by Senator Collins of Maine and Senator Nelson of Florida has a 200 plus download on line citing PCH with all kinds of violations. A class action suit against PCH is pending against them in New York. How convenient per their commercials PCH could not find a winner for the $1,000 a day per 8-31-18 nor could they find a winner for the $5,000 a day in December of 2017 and this happens evrerytime after their false tv commercials about so much pet day and their emails on 8-30-18 they were close to finding their $1,000 a day 8-31-18 winner which was a lie and a fradulant email as no such winner was picked.

I agree.


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