BBB has received reports from consumers about Publishers Clearing House scam currently circulating in British Columbia.
After contacting Publishers Clearing House (PCH), which does run a sweepstakes promotion, BBB has confirmed that a mailing with the following contact information has no connection with PCH:
Phone: 866-407-3447 extension 142
Port Washington address
PCH does not contact consumers by mail, email or over the phone for any prizes over $1,000. All prize announcements are made in person at the person's home address.
According to the PCH website, this statement describes why scammers use their name:
"This current mail appears to be a “Fake Check” scam. Scam artists send you an official looking letter claiming to be from a legitimate sweepstakes. The letter may illegally use the name of a well known company like Publishers Clearing House or a sound alike name in an attempt to build trust. (These offers are not affiliated in any way with Publishers Clearing House!) The letter encloses a real looking check that may appear legitimate. Even your bank may be fooled.
What’s the catch? Even though the check is bogus, if you deposit the check the money may be available to you for a short time. Banks make the funds you deposit available quickly – usually within one to five days, depending on the type of check. But just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the check is good. It can take weeks for the forgery to be discovered and the check to bounce. And that’s what the scam artists are counting on. They hope that if you believe the check is real you’ll be willing to send them money back."
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a fraudulent contact using the name of Publishers Clearing House, may contact the company at their toll-free fraud number 1-800-392-4190.
If you want to report a fraud, or if you need more information, contact The Canadian Anti- Fraud Centre:
Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501
Toll Free Fax: 1-888-654-9426
To report economic crime on-line please click here