Publisher's Clearing House Scam Hits Springfield
A scam involving people posing as Publisher's Clearing House representatives has been plaguing the Ozarks.
Edited from a press release from the Better Business Bureau in Springfield:
The Better Business Bureau has received a spike in calls about a Publishers Clearing House phone scam. Scammers are contacting residents in the Southwest Missouri area claiming they have won a large amount of money through Publishers Clearing House. Some callers report scammers claiming they have representatives from the BBB, the Attorney General’s office, and the IRS with them, and that they are en route to their house with the money. The BBB, Attorney General, and IRS would NEVER send representatives to your house in order to ‘validate’ that cash prizes are real.
Some have reported an 876 number calling them about the supposed winnings. Please be aware that the 876 area code originates in Jamaica, and these phone calls are NOT affiliated with the actual Publishers Clearing House.
On March 11, 2014 the BBB spoke with a representative from Publishers Clearing House and verified that the company never calls consumers to inform them of winnings. Winners of under $10,000 receive a mail piece from PCH with a confirmation number and a physical affidavit. Prize winners are then instructed to go to www.pch.com and enter the confirmation number. Winners of over $10,000 receive a visit from PCH Prize Patrol at their home, as seen on television ads.
The representative stated “By the time a person has won, Publishers Clearing House already has the consumer’s information (i.e. name, mailing address, e-mail address) from them registering for the sweepstakes online or through magazine subscriptions. Our company would never ask for personal information when the winner actually receives the money, and we would never ask for money to be paid in order to claim a prize.”
Your BBB reminds you:
• Never answer a call from a number you do not know; if it is that important, the caller can leave a message.
• Never give out personal information unless you are sure of the recipient.
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
• Ask lots of questions.
• Check the facts before making any decisions.
If you or someone you know has received one of these calls, you may report it to any of the following:
• Publishers Clearing House Scam Hotline: 1-800-392-4190
• Missouri Attorney General 1-800-392-8222
• Federal Trade Commission 1-877-382-4357
You may also contact your BBB at (417) 862-8419 to report a scam or file a complaint. If you would like more information on the Publishers Clearing House phone scam, check out our Facebook page (BBB of Southwest Missouri) for a link to our full article.