Follow Finn Law Group for the latest news and headlines on Consumer Protection. We are sharing the latest news from the BBB: Publishers Clearing House Scams & Cable Scams.
Scam Alert: “Winners” Lose Big to Imposters Posing as Publishers Clearing House
How the Scam Works
You receive a phone call, text message, email, social media message or even a letter in the mail claiming you’ve won millions of dollars or another high value prize through what impostures claim is Publishers Clearing House.
The real Publishers Clearing House is a BBB Accredited Business with a good rating, and it never asks people to pay upfront fees for anything
How to Avoid the Scam
- Reach out to Publishers Clearing House: If you are contacted by a scammer impersonating PCH, report by calling (800) 392-4190. Also, PCH provides a toll-free customer service number (800-645-9242), which consumers can call at any time to check on suspicious behavior.
- Be wary of unsolicited correspondence. If you receive a notice out of the blue and can’t recall entering the contest, it’s likely a scam. Look for typos and misspellings. They are tell-tale signs of a scam.
- Never pay fees to claim a prize. You should never have to pay any fees upfront before receiving winnings. Not even taxes.
- Keep track of any contests you enter. You can’t win a contest you didn’t enter. If you often enter contests and sweepstakes, keep track of them. This will help you spot a fake contest.
Scam Alert: Great Deal on Your Cable? Could be a Trick
How the Scam Works
You receive an unsolicited call offering you reduced rates on your cable bill.
Instead of using the payment information your cable company already has, they ask you to purchase pre-paid debit cards to make the up-front payment.
How to Avoid the Cable Impersonator Con
- Be cautious when answering unsolicited calls or emails. Legitimate companies that you already do business with may call you, but they won’t pressure you to pay in a new way.
- If someone shows up at your doorstep, verify their identity. If you weren’t expecting a visit, ask the person for their ID and then call your cable company to verify that they are an employee.
- When in doubt, verify special deals with your cable company.If you are unsure about a promotional offer you’ve been presented with, get the customer service number from your cable company’s official website or your latest bill. Call the company directly to make sure the offer is real.
- Never make payments with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers.Scammers prefer these payment methods because there is nothing you can do to get your money back. Unlike debit or credit cards, successful wire transfers and prepaid cards can’t be contested later. Remember, legitimate companies almost always accept checks and credit cards as the primary means of payment.
If you’ve been the victim of a similar scam, report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your first-hand experience can help other consumers recognize scammers’ tactics before it’s too late.