There have been several reports, most recently in Florida, that supposed representatives from Publisher's Clearing House are calling people to tell them that they have won $500,000 or more from Publishers Clearing House. It has been reported that the bogus representative then advises the potential victims that they need to pay a fee of anywhere from $100 to $6,000 in order to claim the prize.
Florida may be targeted because of the large elderly population. Elderly people are often sucked in by scam artists because they are either lonely and want to talk or under extreme financial stress. The thought of winning $500,000 or more from a Publisher's Clearing House sweeptakes house sounds good to them...and thousands of others across the country struggling in the poor economy.
In one case in Stewart, Florida In one case, a female identifying herself as Deborah Holland of Publisher’s Clearing House called stating that the resident had won 10 million dollars and that it would be delivered on Tuesday, October 20 at 10am.
The residents would be personally escorted to the bank to receive their prize money because the amount was too large to be home delivered. She finished her conversation by stating they would need to pay $6,000 for the state taxes in advance. The money would need to be sent via phone transfer.
While the authentic Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes are not actually scams, many sweepstakes scammers pretend to be calling from PCH in order to convince people to part with their money. There are two things to remember about entering PCH sweepstakes:
Publisher's Clearing House does not notify winners by telephone. - You never have to pay to receive your prize.
If you are ever uncertain whether a win is really from PCH.com or not, you can contact them toll-free at (877) 3SWEEPS (1-877-379-3377) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
This is important information to relay to any elderly people or anyone you know who might fall for this sort of scam. If in doubt, call Publisher's Clearing House or your local police.
source: The Stewart Time, PCH.com