Publishers Clearing House scam making its way through the Tennessee Valley
Impostors are using Publishers Clearing House prize to lure people into thinking they won, with a catch.
Can you imagine winning thousands of dollars a week, forever? It might sound too good to be true, but Publishers Clearing House actually does these sweepstakes across the country. Impostors are using this prize to lure people into thinking they won, with a catch.
You've seen the commercials and the utter shock when people learn they won a large cash prize.
"That somewhat opens the door for the fraudulent guys to use as an opportunity to misrepresent,” said Jim Winsett with the Better Business Bureau.
In Dunlap, the police department is warning everyone of a phone scam circulating telling recipients they won a car and need to make a deposit, and you guessed it, this is a scam.
Our Channel 3 investigation lead us to Publishers Clearing House "Scam Hotline." The spokesperson tells us they were not aware of this specific incident but said if they don't show up to your door, it isn't real.
"If you have received a scam call, email, letter or check in the mail please disregard it,” she said.
The Better Business Bureau said they have about two thousand complaints of PCH scams. Our local BBB office in Chattanooga says they receive complaints almost weekly. The company, PCH, tells us they do too.
"We do so many, you know the calls are back to back to back. We get calls from all over the united states,” they said. The most common way the scammers try and dupe you is to send money with no paper trail.
"Anyone else saying they're from publishers clearing house and then they want you to go to a Walgreens or a Walmart to get a money ordered for a thousand dollars or monetary whatever, it's a fake,” the company explained.
And as they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
"We don't make any announcements, we just surprise, that's the element of surprise. We present you with the prize and then leave,” they said.
Officials say don't be fooled by this phone scam, the company says they never ask for any type of monetary payments from contest winners. If you suspect a scam you can report it directly on the incident form on the Publisher Clearing House website.
The Better Business Bureau has a scam tracker tool on their website that shows reports happening where you live.