Reports of Publishers Clearing House Scams from Jamaica are on the rise. These are not from the REAL Publishers Clearing House.
At Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes integrity is the cornerstone of our business. As such, we want to make sure that all consumers are protected from scams fraudulently pretending to be associated with our well-recognized PCH name.
We would like to warn you about a rise in sweepstakes scams pouring in from Jamaica, dangling the prospects of huge winnings, many of which are illegally using the Publishers Clearing House name. There is a catch in these scams – you will be told all you have to do is send or wire money to claim the bogus prize. DONT FALL FOR THIS! Be warned that anyone asking for payment of any type in order to claim a sweepstakes prize is a SCAMMER! Legitimate sweepstakes are free and no purchase is ever necessary to enter or win a prize – that is the law! At Publishers Clearing House we never ask for money to present a prize and our ‘no purchase necessary’ message is prominently displayed in all of our promotional mailers.
Here is generally how the Jamaican Publishers Clearing House scam starts: Scammers inform their targets they have won a sweepstakes prize but first need to make some type of payment to obtain the prize. Scammers oftentimes use the name of PCH or some other well-recognized, trusted brand. The scammers build trust and rapport with their targets. But payments only lead to more requests for money. Jamaican scammers may call you on the phone, send you an email or mail you a letter (sometimes with a fake check enclosed). Whatever the method of contact, the scam is always to try and get you to part with your hard-earned money.
US Government officials, the US Postal Inspection Service, police and law enforcement agencies around the country, as well as The Federal Trade Commission are all working together to combat the rise in scams coming out of Jamaica. It is a difficult and arduous task as these cross-border, trans-national scams are among the hardest crimes to investigate and prosecute as there is no face-to-face interaction. But we are all fighting back together.
Publishers Clearing House has been actively working with these agencies, sharing information gathered and tracked in our anti-scam database. We regularly provide such data to the law enforcement officials including the Postal Inspection Service, Office of Homeland Security, FBI and the US Attorney’s Office. What’s more, we are just one of handful of private companies that contributes anti scam data directly the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Database network. Consumer Sentinel, maintained by the FTC, is a secure online database of consumer complaints available to law enforcement around the country and the world. PCH is pleased to be a regular contributor and do all we can to assist in providing data to help in these fraud investigations.
Here are some final tips to protect you from these Jamaican based Publishers Clearing House scams:
- Beware of any unsolicited call that may come from the Jamaican area code of 876 and includes an offer that sounds too good to be true. Hang up the phone!
- If you are asked to send or wire money for any reason whatsoever to claim a prize - DONT! It is a SCAM! At Publishers Clearing House we NEVER ASK FOR MONEY to be sent to claim a prize.
- At Publishers Clearing House our major prizes of $10,000 or more are awarded in person, unannounced, by our famous Prize Patrol, or through notice in a certified letter. We DO NOT call our winners ahead of time.