This Is Why the FTC Is Warning Us About Publishers Clearing House Calls

10,765 Views
Cameraman and TV Presenter Interviewing a Couple Holding a Large Winning Check
Digital Vision/Getty Images

Publishers Clearing House is famous for showing up on people’s doorsteps with larger-than-life checks for millions of dollars. For many, answering the door to find that they won one of the grand prizes would be a dream come true.

Scammers know just how popular these sweepstakes are, and they’ve found a way to capitalize.

If you’re someone who dreams of getting that special knock on your door someday, you need to be aware of a new scam to steal your money and make it nearly impossible to recover.

If Publishers Clearing House Calls You, it’s a Scam

On July 21, the Federal Trade Commission released a statement outlining a new scam involving Publishers Clearing House.

According to the statement, people pretending to be from Publishers Clearing House call consumers and tell them they’ve won a grand prize. The scammers then request a money transfer to pay for fees and taxes, saying they need the funds before they can issue the prize.

Most scammers request the money through Western Union, MoneyGram or a prepaid card. Receiving the money through these third parties makes it almost impossible to trace, meaning consumers may never recover it.

The FTC writes that anyone who requests you send money to claim a prize is part of a scam. Additionally, Publishers Clearing House says it will never call you about a prize and will never ask anyone to pay to receive one.

If you’ve received a call from a scammer pretending to be with Publishers Clearing House, report it to the FTC.

Criminals who seek to separate you from your money are everywhere, so protect yourself by creating strong passwords and learning what to do if you think you’ve been scammed.

Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.