Phony Publishers Clearing House Calls and Letters

Avoid Getting Scammed

Anchorage, Alaska – May 28, 2010 – Fake sweepstakes checks in the mail are common, but now Better Business Bureau warns of phony calls from Publishers Clearing House (PCH) impersonators promising a $2.5 million prize.

This type of scam isn’t new. It has been circulating for years, according to Publishers Clearing House. Real sweepstakes facts can be found on the official website, pch.com.

Fake lottery checks was one of BBB’s top 10 most reported rip-offs of 2009. Last year, your BBB issued the following alerts: Check Disguised as Free Money, Has Fraudulent Funds and Phony Letter  From Publishers Clearing House Lands in Mailboxes Across the Country.
BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington offers the following information to help prevent Publishers Clearing House prize scams:

Prize winners will not be notified by phone or regular mail. Consumers who win over $10,000 will be awarded in person by the PCH Prize Patrol, with no advance notification. Those who win less than $10,000 will receive an affidavit via certified mail. Additionally, PCH does send out post cards and mailings promoting their services and surveys.

At the real Publishers Clearing House, the winning is always free. Do not send or wire any money in order to collect the prize. Don’t trust anyone requesting payment for “taxes,” “custom fees,” “border security” or other purported reasons.

If suspicious of a fraudulent call, letter, e-mail or check from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, contact the actual PCH at 1-800-645-9242 then press 5.

Report lottery and sweepstakes fraudsters to: The Federal Trade Commission, 1-877-382-4357; the Alaska Attorney General, www.law.state.ak.us/consumer ; and if received by mail, the United States Postal Inspection Service, 1-877-876-2455. Visit http://www.bbb.org/  for more fraud prevention tips.

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