Scam Alert: Fake Publishers Clearing House Calls

Everyone loves the thought of a giant check appearing at their door, but the FTC is warning that a call from Publishers Clearing House might not be the real deal.

Publishers Clearing House and the FTC have been getting reports that scammers are using the household name to trick people out of their hard-earned cash. Scammers call, claiming that you’ve won the sweepstakes — but when you try to collect the prize, you’ll be asked to send money to pay for “fees and taxes.”

Asking for money when you’ve won something should be enough of a red flag; Publishers Clearing House will never ask you to pay a fee. In general, no prize promoter will ever charge you for a win. If someone calls and asks you to pay for a prize, hang up and report it to the FTC.

Another thing? Publishers Clearing House doesn’t call ahead to say you’ve won. That’s the whole point of the giant check and balloons: the element of surprise. If “Publishers Clearing House” calls, it’s probably a scammer.

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

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