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How To Identify (and Avoid) Facebook-Publishers Clearing House Scams

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Tuesday, January 30, 2024


In the last two years I've received about twenty Facebook/Publisher's Clearing House scam offers, all trying to rip me off. All these from fellow Italian Facebook "friends"! Paisans, no less! These criminals must be good friends with Michael Corleone! Below is a concise yet comprehensive summary of all the pertinent information, plus a list of Related Posts.  

How To Quickly Spot a PCH Scam 

"The bottom line is that Publishers Clearing House never requires winners to pay. If you’re a legitimate winner, you won’t be subject to fees or charges before you can claim your prize. If you’re asked to pay anything to claim your winnings, you’re dealing with a PCH scam. Even if you’re not asked to pay upfront, there are other red flags to look out for when dealing with a fake PCH award.  

"Here’s how you can tell if you’re being targeted by a sweepstakes scam: 

----You receive a notice about a prize that is over $10,000 in value. Publishers Clearing House always awards large cash prizes in person with their famous Prize Patrol. They do not give winners any advance warning before the Prize Patrol shows up. Smaller prizes are sent by certified mail. 

----There are 'processing fees' or other charges. Sweepstakes winners should not have to pay anything to claim prizes. If you’re asked to pay or send gift cards, it’s a scam. 

----You’re asked to wire back some of the money. Some scammers send fake checks in the mail and ask victims to wire back a portion of the money. When the check bounces, you have to pay the difference. 

----You’re asked to provide personal or financial data to claim your prize. Publishers Clearing House will never ask for bank account information, handling fees, or gift card payments in order for you to receive a prize.  

----You have to contact someone before cashing the check. If a check is real, there is no need to talk to anyone before cashing it. Scammers use this tactic to get you on the phone and demand payment or sensitive data from you. 

----The contact information is wrong. Verify that the phone number provided is the same as the one listed on PCH.com. If you’re unsure, you can always call PCH customer service directly at 1-800-459-4724 (or use other contact information found on the PCH website) and ask if you’ve really won." 

Beware of Facebook messages from PCH employee imposters: 

"Scammers can easily exploit social media platforms like Facebook to run PCH scams. First, they copy images and content from the PCH Prize Patrol official Facebook account. Then they use this content to target people who follow the PCH page — and inform targets that they’ve won. Eventually, the scammers ask for up-front payments, a portion of the winnings, or financial data. 

"Sometimes scammers impersonate real PCH employees. They create fake accounts for recognizable Prize Patrol members like Dave Sayer, Danielle Lam, or Todd Sloane. They may even impersonate PCH executives like Deborah Holland." 

Here’s what to do: 

"Don’t respond to friend requests from PCH employees. PCH employees do not reach out to winners on Facebook. These are not real accounts. 

"Report fake accounts whenever you see them. If enough people report an account, Facebook will require the user to validate their identity. If the user can’t comply, Facebook will shut down the account." 


How To Identify (and Avoid) Publishers Clearing House Scams                               Includes what to do if you are a victim)               https://www.aura.com/learn/publishers-clearing-house-scams 

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Photo: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/al-pacino-in-the-godfather-gallery-twenty-seven.html  

Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.


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