Beware of people misusing the Publishers Clearing House

The letter O'Neal received

COLUMBUS, Ga.- If you happen to receive a letter in the mail and it says it is from Publishers Clearing House and it says you won big, do not get too excited. There are people misusing the PCH name attempting to scam you out of your money.

Patricia O’Neal is the owner of Joey’s Thrift Mall. She received one of these letters in the mail last week. The letter said she won $2,500,000 and in order to claim it, she had to cash the near $8,000 check enclosed into her bank account. The letter gave her a number to call, so she called it. When she called, she said the person asked her for her security code that was in the letter and if she had cashed the check. She says she nearly laughed when the person asked her this.

The letter O'Neal received
The letter O’Neal received


The check she was asked to cash
The check she was asked to cash.


She says if she cashed the check, she would be out nearly $8,000 and the people who got the money would be long gone. She said she knew it was a scam.

According to PCH’s official blog, there are many ways to spot a scam.

They will never ask you for money to claim your winnings. If you receive an E-mail saying you won, that is a red flag because they do not e-mail winners. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from PCH and they ask for money to enter or collect a prize, that’s the sign of a scam. Also, if one of their workers reaches out to you on social media, that is a sign. In addition, if the letter has a lot of grammatical errors, if they ask you to stay quiet about winning those are other signs of a scam.

News 3 decided to call the number on O’Neal’s letter. The first time we called, they told us the person whose name is on the letter to call and then they hung up on us. The next time we called, we told them who we were and they hung up on us.

O’Neal says that this scam makes her angry and if someone sent you a check years ago, it was true. Now, it is not. She says if her story keeps one person from getting scammed, then she would be satisfied. She also urges anyone who gets these letters to throw them in the garbage.

If you have received one of these letters, you are urged to call PCH’s hotline for scams and misusing the PCH name, call: (1-800) 392- 4190


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