KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — If you receive a call from someone claiming you have won a sweepstakes prize and you are asked to send money, beware. Due to its popularity, many scammers use the name of Publishers Clearing House in their letters and their calls.
Scammers targeted Billy Cooper saying he won a lot of money and a brand new car, but the electronically-generated voice lacked enthusiasm in the phone call.
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Three years ago, Cooper received a letter from Publishers Clearing House, and he said he’s familiar with the company, but wasn’t aware of the scams surrounding the sweepstakes contest. In December 2018, he received two letters from the real PCH, but weeks prior he received another letter with the company’s logo on it.
Like the recent phone call, the letter claimed he was a potential winner, this time of $700 a week for life. Back then, he thought he had won because he believed it to be legitimate, it had the executive vice president’s name at the bottom and at the top the PCH logo, which he’s familiar with. So, he confirmed his address, added his phone number, and responded to the letter.
The real PCH says scammers use any means available to fool you: mail, telephone, email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. PCH says the conman’s main goal is to deceive you into believing you’ve won a prize. Don’t fall for it. Employees of the compamy would never contact you personally or in advance to notify you of a prize award.
The only tax you would pay is to the federal government, not to scammer making the call.
Even though you may get an adrenaline rush when someone calls saying you’ve won a pile of cash, don’t be quick in giving the caller your personal information or sending money. Be aware: It’s a scam.