Ed McMahon might have passed on, but Publishers Clearing House (PCH) is still hitting the streets and giving away money. That’s right, a new version of the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes is alive and well…and it’s not a scam. Unless, of course, it is.
I still recall seeing Ed McMahon on TV going to a house with a camera crew and ‘surprising’ the resident with a check for a million dollars. These days, the contest has moved from a lump-sum payout to an annuity of $5,000 a week for life. Actually, with the current contest it’s $7,000 a week for life, but who’s going to quibble over a couple of grand a week? Right?
Here’s the catch. Scammers are using a Publishers Clearing House or PCH scam via both phone and email. Victims have reported being told they’ve won prizes like the current $5,000 a week payout, a check for $2.5 million cash, and/or a car. The perpetrator may ask for payment via Western Union or a Walmart money order to cover the ‘taxes’ on the prize. In other cases, they merely ask for bank account information or a social security number to enable them to send the prizes.
The PCH scam appears to be most effective with senior citizens and is likely receiving a big boost because the real PCH will televise their next big payout on April 26th on NBC. In any case, don’t be fooled. Publishers Clearing House never calls to tell you you’ve won. They send notifications via registered mail, and they don’t ask for money to cover ‘taxes.’