Don’t trust every giant novelty check that comes to your door.
An elderly woman recently received a call telling her that she’d won millions of dollars. In the end, she ended up losing $135,000 in a Publishers Clearing House scam. The woman, Gloria Rodriguez, ended up losing her home, among many other things, as a result of the scam. Since then, she’s taken to the media to warn others of her story.
Publishers Clearing House scams typically start much the same way Gloria’s did. First, Gloria received a call from people claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, telling her she won $5.2 million. According to Gloria, the catch was that she had to send them money first “so that money can come from one state to the other. At that time I didn’t know that it could with no paying.” Gloria had been buying from Publishers Clearing House since 2016 and she even had a subscription. When the scam call came in, Gloria hadn’t felt any reason to believe it was illegitimate. “He knew my address. The history of my spending with the company,” Gloria explained.
During a period lasting from March 2018 to September 2019, Gloria received calls asking for more money daily, promising that if she wants to back out, she can at any time and get all the money back. Gloria didn’t want to believe she was being scammed until recently. By the time a more serious red flag had come up, Gloria had wire transferred $135,000 to the scammers.
According to the Better Business Bureau, Publishers Clearing House is a legitimate and accredited business that scammers mimic because of its reputation for giving out serious, real prizes. The BBB also states that the real Publishers Clearing House won’t call you by phone. The reason scammers undertake this scam is because of both the actual business’s good reputation and because many of its customers are elderly and vulnerable to manipulation. To avoid this scam, know that you never need to pay upfront fees to claim a prize. Beyond that, it would be wise to track any contests you decide to enter.