With the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes in full swing, it was not unexpected that scammers have been exploiting this legitimate sweepstakes to illegally scam people out of their own money. The most recent scam begins with a telephone call from the scammer telling the victim that the scammer works for Publishers Clearing House and that the victim has won a sizeable sweepstakes prize. All the victim needs to do, he or she is told, is purchase some cash cards, send the codes back to the scammer for processing fees and the prize money will be sent to the unsuspecting victim.
Publishers Clearing House in particular never contacts winners by phone text or email, but only by certified mail or in person. Additionally, legitimate lotteries never ask for processing fees. Neither are taxes collected by the lottery sponsors. In some cases, taxes may be withheld, but they are never asked for as an additional payment.