The way it works is you either get a letter or a phone call from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. The claim: you won the sweepstakes.
“They’ll say you need to pay something first, maybe for insurance or processing. They’ll ask you to send a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars to claim your prize, or they might even enclose a fake check and ask you to deposit and send back some of the money,” said Jeannette Kopko, senior VP of communications at the Better Business Bureau of Dallas.
If you never actually entered the contest, you didn’t win it. Also, the real Publishers Clearing House won’t ask you to send money to claim your prize.
“Publishers Clearing House says that your winnings are always free. You never have to pay anything, not a penny, to get your prize,” said Kopko.
Of course, what the scammers are trying to do is get money from you. If you send whatever they’re asking for, you’re just going to be out that money. Don’t expect a prize.
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