The Publisher's Clearing House scam has been circulating for three or four years now, and it pops up in various forms. Craighead County residents are currently receiving calls from a Jamaican area code claiming they won the PCH Sweepstakes. The catch is the winner has to pay $399.00 in taxes to receive the winnings. The Federal Trade Commission issued a statement back in April 2017 regarding these scams.
Publishers Clearing House also has released information regarding the scams, including helpful information on how to determine if you're being contacted by the real Prize Patrol, or just someone who wants to help you part ways with your hard earned cash.
1. Publishers Clearing House will never call you to announce you've won. The Prize Patrol is their trademark, so why wouldn't they use it?
2. Publishers Clearing House will never ask you to pay any money to claim your prize. Taxes are paid through the federal, state, and local governments, and are not required to be paid in advance to receive the winnings.
3. Taxes, fines, and fees, are not paid with GreenDot, iTunes, or any other prepaid cards. If someone asks you to buy cards and give them the codes, hang up and report the call to the Federal Trade Commission.
4. Publishers Clearing House would never call you in advance to tell you that you've won, which would completely ruin the surprise. Who hasn't wished they could trade places with the person on TV who has the Prize Patrol at the house with that huge cardboard check? The surprise on their faces is genuine.
5. Publishers Clearing House will never send you a friend request. The Prize Patrol and none of the members of the company will ever send you a private message.
These scammers will try to target those who they feel will most likely give up the green. Please make sure you have informed your elderly family members of these, and other scams. They are always more trusting, and we need to protect them.