If you get a letter in the mail claiming that you won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, it’s recommended you take a closer look before you begin celebrating – it may be a scam.
Our Fraud Team has reported incidents of scammers mailing letters with claims that the recipient has won a cash prize. The letter will often include the Publishers Clearing House logo, recipient’s name, address and instructions on how to claim the prize.
It is important to know some of the red flags of sweepstakes fraud and steps to avoid becoming a victim, such as if:
- The letter contains an explanation that you will be responsible for paying taxes and processing fees before receiving the prize. It may even include a check with instructions to cash it and send the money to cover the fees. Do not cash any checks or send payments – the money will be gone and you will receive no prizes.
- The letter contains a sense of urgency, pressuring you to claim the prize quickly.
- The letter asks you to keep the prize confidential until the winnings “have been processed and remitted to the designated account.” Fraudsters know scams have a higher success rate if you don’t seek advice or share the news with others beforehand.
- The letter asks you for financial information to receive a prize. If you need to give out bank account, credit or debit card information in order to claim the prize, then it is a scam.
If you have questions about the legitimacy of the prize, do not use the contact information provided in the letter – look up the contact information directly from the verified company website or contact your financial institution.
If you are a MVSB customer and you are concerned your personal or financial information was compromised in response to a fraudulent sweepstakes letter, we’re here to help. Please call us directly at 800.922.6872 so that we can assist you with protecting your accounts and identity.