That’s how the Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol presents their awards — in person.
However, at least three from Washington County have been scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars in the past few weeks by someone presenting himself as a representative of the PCH Prize Patrol.
According to Washington County Deputy Sheriff Brent Miller at least three local residents have been stung by this scam.
“It’s sad, but these people are very good at what they do and very convincing,” said Miller. “And they’re going for elderly residents.”
He pointed to a blog from the actual Publisher’s Clearing House site — http://blog.pch.com/blog/2014/02/25/beware-of-publishers-clearing-house-scams/
1. If someone contacts you claiming to be from PCH, and tells you that you’ve won a prize award – then asks you to send a payment or money card in order to claim the prize – STOP! You have not heard from the real PCH. IT’S A SCAM! At Publishers Clearing House the winning is always free and you NEVER have to pay to claim a prize award.
2. If you receive an email notifying you that you have won a major prize in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, DON’T BE FOOLED: IT’S A SCAM!Publishers Clearing House does NOT send e-mails notifying consumers that they have won a major prize. If you win a major prize in our sweepstakes (like our February 28th SuperPrize), you’ll know when the Prize Patrol shows up at your door with the Big Check.
3. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House and are asked to send money, pay a fee or pre-pay taxes to enter, collect or claim a sweepstakes prize, DON’T BE FOOLED: IT’S A SCAM! You have not heard from the “real” Publishers Clearing House. The call you received was most likely from a fraudulent sweepstakes scam operation. Again, at Publishers Clearing House the winning is always free.
4. If someone from Publishers Clearing House sends you a friend request on Facebook, DON’T BE FOOLED: IT’S A SCAM! The Prize Patrol will NEVER send friend requests to you on Facebook. Moreover, the PCH Prize Patrol members (Danielle Lam, Dave Sayer, and Todd Sloane) never send private messages on Facebook. In addition, PCH does not notify its winners through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media website.
“This gives people some tips on how to tell the scam,” he said. “First, if someone calls and says they are from PCH, that’s a big clue. They never call. Second, if they email you and ask you to send money — another big clue…they never email. They always show up in person with a big check. Also, if they ask you to pay an amount of money that should be a red flag because PCH prizes never have any fees associated with them.”
Miller said one person who had been scammed over a series of calls and money payments in a period of five weeks lost a “significant amount” of money.
“This is similar to the IRS scam a few weeks ago,” said Miller. “Most of these agencies do not call you up and ask for money. Notification is either in person or by mail.”
“If someone has a question if something is legitimate, then please call us at 812.883.2834 and ask us,” Miller said. “We’d be glad to research it and save you