Scam Squad

If Publishers Clearing House will announce the winners of the latest contest on April 30, 2020, who is this person calling me to tell me I am a winner? Where did this email come from? It looks so professional!

A ‘Prize Notification’ came from PCH, but why are they asking me for money to cover taxes or the cost of getting the foreign car I won out of the port?

It is just too early to know I won, and besides, I have been told that the government will take the IRS “dues” before I receive my prize winnings.

What conclusion can I draw from this? Is this a blatant scam?

First, ask yourself if you remember entering the contest. Imposter scammers will use real PCH logos and employee names in their counterfeit scam. You can check on PCH information at pch.com. This web site is where you will find the information you seek.

PCH phone numbers are 1-877-SWEEPS or 1-877-379-3377 available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Be prepared to experience an extended wait.

PCH is a legitimate contest and will answer any questions you may have. This email: abuse@pch.com will help answer your questions on how to recognize PCH scams and will provide forms for a fraud/scam incident report. It is important to report this information to the Federal Trade Commission.

The dominant red flag for the PCH scam includes asking for money in the form of a credit card or bank account numbers. They may even ask you to purchase the amount in the form of gift cards.

The Federal Trade Commission works with law enforcement to identify and bring these fraudsters to justice. There have been effective Class Action law suits for reimbursement to consumers by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. The site FTC.gov/ID theft is available for prevention tips and free resources to the community.

As long as PCH continues to have contests, the scammers will continue phishing for personal information; but you do not have to be the next victim. Please share this information about one of the most popular contests with neighbors and friends.

Robocalls

The FCC has initiated many programs to keep fraud robocalls at bay. Check with your phone provider or bundling service.

You may not be aware of ways to block annoying illegal robocalls on your cell phone or landline phone. Stop at a phone provider’s office or make a call to your service where the employees will be able to explain this feature to you.

Screen your calls with caller ID or an answering machine. If the caller is not in your contact list or leaves a questionable message, do not respond. Remember just HANG UP! if the caller is asking for money or personal information.

Call the Pima County Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers with information about scams and frauds. To contact the Scam Squad directly, 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, call (520) 351-6715, or email: scamsquad@gvsav.org. To report suspicious activity or a particular incident of fraud (which is a scam involving a loss of money) call 520-351-4900. You may also check our Web site at GVSAV.org.

If you are interested in becoming a Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteer, please email gvsavrecruiting@gmail.com for an application or call (520) 351-6746.

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