Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam (2021) - Scam Detector (2022)

Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam: How It Works

The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam is back. If you have received a PCH phone call, email, or letter you are not one of the winners. This is nothing but a scam that has fooled many innocent people. It is the most common type of fraud going around telling people that they have won a large sum of money at the lottery.

You could have also won other prizes such as tropical holidays or electronic equipment like smartphones. But here’s the catch for the Publishers Clearing House Scam. You will be required to pay a fee before you even receive your prize money or gift. These scammers will tell you that these fees are insurance costs, bank fees, or taxes. Crooks make money by collecting these fees while you never see your winnings.

Watch the video below to see the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam exposed:

You cannot win the lottery without participating in it, and no one else will put your name into a draw like that. One red flag is that the letters that scammers send to people are never addressed to them with their real names. Instead, it is always, “Dear Winner.”

PCH Sweepstakes Scam Requires Your Quick Response

The PCH sweepstakes email, letter, or text message you receive will tell you to respond quickly, or else you will miss out on your winnings. It also tells you to keep your winnings confidential or private so that “security” is maintained and other people don’t cash out on your winnings.

The truth is that this is done to stop you from seeking information from other sources. The authentic Publishers Clearing House Company will never state any such information to anyone. If you feel that people are trying to tell you to keep such secrets, there is more to it.

Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam (2021) - Scam Detector (1)

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They may tell you to provide your bank details and some identity verification to make sure that you are the actual winner. Scammers will use these details to steal your identity and all the money that you have in your bank account.

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Some tricksters even send a part of the winnings like a few thousand dollars to trick you into believing that it is a legitimate offer. But when you try to get it, this will bounce back, and you won’t get any payment.

Examples of Publishers Clearing House Scam

An example of the Publishers Clearing House scam was reported by a victim as follows:

“I got a letter from the Publishers Clearing House saying that I am eligible for a prize. They asked me to put stickers everywhere on entry forms and return them. Also, it had a small catalog with merchandise for me to buy, assuring me it is all guaranteed with a money-back commitment. I have returned the entry form but never bought this stuff.”

“Then, I got a package and a new form for me to validate my entry. I did the same thing as above. Then another package came with a form to certify my validation and another catalog. I sent the form back again. Then another package with a form to re-certify my validation, plus another catalog! These assured me that I don’t have to buy anything to win and include bonus stockers for side prizes. And so on…”

PCH Scam on Social Media

Another recent version of PCH scams is when a criminal gets access to your social media account and contacts your extended family members, telling them that they have won all the money.

They use trust between family members to scam people out of their money. The victim is abused, and it may cause disputes between family members as well.

How To Avoid The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scams

The Publishers Clearing House Company is legit, but many scammers use this name. They copy the real organization’s exact style and format to make it seem like the PCH letter, email, or call is authentic. How can you tell the difference between the legit Publishers Clearing House and the fraudulent one?

Scammers are very good at making people believe that they are legit. Here are a few tips that you can keep in mind when trying to spot the difference between the fake and the real PCH sweepstakes.

Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam (2021) - Scam Detector (2)

Beware of Fake Lists of PCH Winners

Publishers Clearing House does not email or call with a list of PCH winners. If you receive a Publishers Clearing House phone call, email, or letter in your mailbox saying that you have won a prize, you can be sure that it is a scam.

The Publishers Clearing House website states, “All PCH prices of $500 or greater are awarded by either certified or express letter or in person by our famous Prize Patrol at our option.”

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Publishers Clearing House Winners Don’t Pay Fees

The legitimate Publishers Clearing House will never ask you to pay anything. If you win a sweepstakes prize from Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes or any other similar legitimate company, you will never need to pay. Scammers take money from you in exchange for a reward that they promise, but it will never be sent.

Do not give sensitive information. When you enter into a contest like the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, they will never ask you to submit information like your bank account number, license number, or address. Even though you may need to fill out an affidavit to verify eligibility if you win, you will not have to give any information when you enter.

If you are asked to enter any personal information, you can be sure that it is a scam.

Avoid The PCH Check

Getting a check doesn’t mean that you have won. Some scammers make it seem like you are not really paying any price. They send a check over to you and ask you to send a small amount back to them due to an error. These checks are not legitimate and just a part of the fraud. So don’t fall for the Check in the Mail scam.

Research before responding. If you want to verify your prize, there are specific steps that you should take. They never include having to pay money or give out personal information to receive a prize. You can also do a Google search of similar cases and look for notifications that other people have reported to consumer organizations. Always do your research before you respond to such PCH sweepstakes letters, emails, or texts.

Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam (2021) - Scam Detector (3)

Verify your win. If you are confused about whether your win is legitimate, contact Publishers Clearing House directly to ask them if they can verify your prize. Do not call any telephone number or contact any email address that is included within your notice. This will lead you directly to the hands of the scammers.

Publishers Clearing House Scam on Facebook

Facebook is an excellent place for sweepstakes fans, but there are plenty of scams that can take place here. A common one is the Publishers Clearing House page scam that is created to trick victims.

This is how this game works on Facebook: Scammers create a Facebook page that will look like the real Publishers Clearing House page. It may even be a fake personal page of one of the real employees of Publishers Clearing House. They then steal logos and photos of the Prize Patrol members, the PCH color scheme, and other information in order to make their page look real.

When PCH fans start following the Facebook page, the scammers will message them and tell them that they have won a prize. They then ask for money before they can claim their winnings. Many victims have handed over cash but obviously never seen a prize.

In order to keep yourself away from the public Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes scam on Facebook, you should learn how to avoid and recognize fake Facebook pages. Always remember that PCH will never notify a winner via a Facebook message. Always look for the blue verification badge on any PCH official page. This means that Facebook verified it.

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What To Do If You Have Been Scammed

If you have already sent your money to a Publishers Clearing House scammer, you should contact your local police station. Also, you can use the form below. You should also be much more careful in the future because scammers who have already fooled you once will only try and trick you again.

You can also contact the Publisher Clearing House directly to report a scam. If you are a victim of fraud or almost got scammed, you should spread awareness about it so that other people know about it and will take precautionary steps to prevent this from happening in the future.

How To Report a PCH Scam

Let your family and social media friends know about the PCH Sweepstakes Scam by sharing this article online. You can officially report scammers and suspicious activities to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Publishers Clearing House (PCH) using these links:

Report To The FTC Here

Report to PCH Here

How To Protect Yourself More

If you want to receive the newest scams every week, subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter. Then, you’ll receive periodic messages and emails.

Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other lottery fraud-related articles below, so that you know how to stay safe online. Feel free to use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.

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FAQs

How do you know if you won from PCH? ›

At PCH winners of our major prize awards are notified live and in person by our famous Prize Patrol. Since PCH awards a steady range of prizes throughout the year, at our option we may notify winners of $10,000 or less via an overnight express carrier such as UPS, FedEx or USPS Express Mail and occasionally via email.

How do you know if a sweepstakes is real? ›

The initial contact in a sweepstakes scam is often a call, an email, a social media notification or a piece of direct mail offering congratulations for winning some big contest. But there's a catch: You'll be asked to pay a fee, taxes or customs duties to claim your prize.

Do you have to pay for Publishers Clearing House? ›

You never have to pay to receive a legitimate PCH win

Scammers extort money from you in exchange for a promise of a prize that never materializes. The truth is you never, ever have to pay to receive a sweepstakes prize from Publishers Clearing House or any other company.

Who won the Publishers Clearing House 2022? ›

Congratulations to W. HOERMAN of N Fort Myers, FL who is our June 30th, 2022 winner of our "Special Early Look" for Gwy #19500 for $1,000,000!!!!

How do PCH pick their winners? ›

Random Drawing

In automated drawings, the computer randomly selects a winner from among all eligible entries. In a manual drawing, eligible entries are numbered sequentially and a random number generator program is used to randomly select a winning sequence number.

What does it mean if your name is on a PCH list? ›

These prospect lists are created from information about your past purchases and interests. This information can come from public records, phone directories, club memberships, and other sources. So, for instance, if you've shown interest in contests and sweepstakes, you would likely want to hear from PCH too.

Do sweepstakes call you? ›

Remember, the government will never call you asking for money or tell you you've won a prize. Scammers pretend to be from well-known organizations that run real sweepstakes. Remember, no actual sweepstakes company will contact you to ask for money in order to claim your prize.

What happens if I get scammed? ›

Report the scam to the FTC online, or by phone at 1-877-382-4357 (9:00 AM - 8:00 PM, ET). The FTC accepts complaints about most scams, including these popular ones: Phone calls. Emails.

What happens if you win PCH and your not home? ›

When our famous Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol awards a prize in person, they make every effort to find that winner. If the winner is at work, on vacation, or away from home, the Prize Patrol will find them. The Prize Patrol has never failed to track down the winner of our SuperPrize awards!

Who won Publishers Clearing House April 30 2022? ›

North Fort Myers man wins $1M Publishers Clearing House sweepstake
Reporter:Tiffany Rizzo
Writer:Paul Dolan
Jun 30, 2022

Does PCH send checks in the mail? ›

Prize checks are sent via First Class U.S. Mail for prizes under $600.00 and via overnight mail (or UPS) for prizes of $600.00 and above.

Who won the june 30th Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes? ›

A 72-year-old North Fort Myers man recently enjoyed a welcome surprise at his front door. The Publishers Clearing House prize patrol arrived June 30, holding a large $1 million check outside the home of William Hoerman.

Who won Publishers Clearing House 2 28 22? ›

Publishers Clearing House Winners: John Wyllie From White City, Oregon Wins $5,000 a Week "Forever"

How can I increase my chances of winning PCH? ›

Here are some of the best methods to enter and win PCH giveaways.
  1. Enter Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes on PCH.com. ...
  2. Win the PCH SuperPrize and More Through PCH Search & Win. ...
  3. Play and Win with PCH Games. ...
  4. Guess the Right Numbers and Win with PCH Lotto. ...
  5. Browse News and Win with PCHFrontpage.
Jan 30, 2022

Can you win PCH If you live in an apartment? ›

So that's it in a nutshell: it doesn't matter whether you “own or rent” … whether you live in a house, apartment rental, a nursing home, a mobile home or a tree house. If you win one of our prizes, you're going to get it!

Where does the money from PCH come from? ›

PCH is a direct-marketing company that sells merchandise and magazine subscriptions and operates several prize-based websites. While best known for the sweepstakes and Prize Patrol it uses to promote its magazine subscriptions, the majority of the company's revenue now comes from merchandise.

Who won the Publishers Clearing House 2021? ›

Olmsted Falls man wins $200,000 from Publishers Clearing House. Scott Cerne, who is an essential worker at Fairview Hospital, was surprised during his shift Thursday morning.

What is the PCH bonus? ›

To unlock the bonus in the Games Tab on PCH.com, all you have to do is simply play 10 games in the Games tab. Once you do, you are granted one opportunity to play the bonus which gives you a chance to win a cash prize!

What can a scammer do with my name and phone number? ›

With your personal information, scammers can:
  • access and drain your bank account.
  • open new bank accounts in your name and take out loans or lines of credit.
  • take out phone plans and other contracts.
  • purchase expensive goods in your name.
  • steal your superannuation.
  • gain access to your government online services.

Will my bank refund me if I get scammed? ›

If you paid by bank transfer or Direct Debit

Contact your bank immediately to let them know what's happened and ask if you can get a refund. Most banks should reimburse you if you've transferred money to someone because of a scam.

What happens if a scammer has your email? ›

What will scammers do with your email address? Once a scammer gets your email address, they'll use it to benefit themselves in any way possible. Many will send you spam email, with the hope of collecting private information such as credit card numbers.

What time will NBC announce the PCH winner? ›

Start off with The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. (6:30 or 5:30 PM for most viewers, but check your local listings.) In a Publishers Clearing House commercial, the name of our brand new SuperPrize winner will be announced.

Who won the latest Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes? ›

Publishers Clearing House (yes it's a real thing) gives $100K to Wanaque widow. Wanaque's Judi Emering was a self-proclaimed skeptic regarding the Publishers Clearing House, the longtime operator of sweepstakes best known for the come-on, "You may already be a winner!"

Who won Publishers Clearing House April 30 2021? ›

Danielle Lam, left, and Howie Guja, right, of the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol, award a $1 million dollar prize to William and Kat McGunagle of Spokane, Friday, April 30, 2021.

Does PCH send checks in the mail? ›

Prize checks are sent via First Class U.S. Mail for prizes under $600.00 and via overnight mail (or UPS) for prizes of $600.00 and above.

What happens if you win PCH and your not home? ›

When our famous Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol awards a prize in person, they make every effort to find that winner. If the winner is at work, on vacation, or away from home, the Prize Patrol will find them. The Prize Patrol has never failed to track down the winner of our SuperPrize awards!

Who won the PCH sweepstakes today? ›

North Fort Myers man wins $1M Publishers Clearing House sweepstake
Reporter:Tiffany Rizzo
Writer:Paul Dolan
Jun 30, 2022

What does it mean if your name is on a PCH list? ›

These prospect lists are created from information about your past purchases and interests. This information can come from public records, phone directories, club memberships, and other sources. So, for instance, if you've shown interest in contests and sweepstakes, you would likely want to hear from PCH too.

How much is Publishers Clearing House taxed? ›

If the sweepstakes prize is worth more than $5,000, the sponsor must withhold 25 percent of the prize value for federal taxes and may have to withhold state taxes as well.

What time will NBC announce the PCH winner? ›

Start off with The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. (6:30 or 5:30 PM for most viewers, but check your local listings.) In a Publishers Clearing House commercial, the name of our brand new SuperPrize winner will be announced.

Who won the Publishers Clearing House 2021? ›

Olmsted Falls man wins $200,000 from Publishers Clearing House. Scott Cerne, who is an essential worker at Fairview Hospital, was surprised during his shift Thursday morning.

What happens when you win a sweepstakes? ›

You will remain a potential winner until you've completed the prize claim process and received your prize. Win notifications usually arrive by email, postal mail, registered mail, telephone, or social media.

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