Scams will abound around popular news stories as a way for scammers to capitalize on current headlines. It’s the season for Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes and the scams that go along with the real deal are already apparent. Recent calls to BBB indicate the recipient has won millions of dollars but first has to send money to receive their winnings.
The BBB receives phone calls daily asking about sweepstakes notifications received by phone, email or regular mail. Some callers want to let the BBB know about the scam while others tell us they have already sent money and are looking for a resolution. “Unfortunately, when victims are taken advantage of their money is gone from the economy and little if anything can be done at that point,” said Janna Kiehl, BBB CEO. “That’s why information and education is the first step the BBB takes with callers”.
If you have received notification of winning a prize, remember:
- Most prize notifications are fraudulent. If you win a prize you will be contacted by certified mail and you will not be asked to send money up front.
- If you wire money as a promise to claim your prize - wire transfers are like cash and cannot be recovered.
- You should never have to send money to receive any winnings from a lottery or sweepstakes. When you win, the money comes to you.
- Be suspect of winning something you never bought a ticket for or entered,especially if you have to pay for it.
If you have questions about a sweepstakes offer, contact the BBB at www.bbb.org or by calling 806-379-6222.
If you want to report a scam, click on ScamSource on the website.
Federal law dictates that no money has to be paid in order to win a prize. Typically,other well known companies are never involved in these scams nor do they contact consumers regarding potential winnings.
Publishers ClearingHouse awards its prizes by a personal visit to the winners' homes and does notcharge winners to collect their prize. If you have won a prize from Publishers Clearing House, you will be listed on their website under Publisher's Clearing House Winners Circle. If your name is not on that list, you did not win.
If you receive phonecalls or emails from Publishers Clearing House indicating you have won a prize and need to send money or give up personal information ... don't do it! Contact Publishers Clearing House directly for information at 1-800-459-4724, Monday -Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST or visit their website at http://www.pch.com/.