Some cons just never get old (for scammers, that is). Con artists are always impersonating Publisher's Clearing House, hoping that the lure of a sweepstakes win is too tempting to resist. BBB has learned of a new twist on this classic ploy, combining what's known as a "sweepstakes scam" with an "over-payment scam."
How the Scam Works:
You receive a letter in the mail informing you that you've won the Publisher's Clearing House (PCH) Sweepstakes. It says that PCH has even included a check to cover the taxes on your winnings. All you have to do is deposit the check in your account and wire or use a prepaid debit card to send the "taxes" to a third party. Then it claims Publishers Clearing House can release your winnings.
Sound too good to be true? That's because it is. This scam has nothing to do with Publishers Clearing House. If you deposit the check, and transfer the "tax" money, you will end up owing the bank. Even though the money seems to immediately appear in your account, it takes the bank a few days to completely clear the check. In cases where the check is fake, you are responsible for any money lost.
Tips to Protect Yourself From a Sweepstakes Scam:
Lottery and sweepstakes scams are common. Here are tips to avoid them:
NOTE: Publisher's Clearing House is a BBB Accredited Business.
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