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'Does Publishers Clearing House really give money away?': Yes, but scammers are hoping to trick you into thinking you've won!

How to know if you've really won a prize or if it's a scam.
Credit: adragan - stock.adobe.com
Money trap, cheating. Cash dollars tied with red rope. Isolated on white background.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Does Publisher's Clearing House really give away money and prizes? We get that question all the time. The answer is yes, they do, in fact, we have a video of the prize in action.

But like anything else, the scammers are hoping to make you believe THEY are the prize patrol.

"If your viewers get an email, a call, any contact, a letter that says you've won a prize, but you have to send money, rip up the letter, hang up the phone and report it to law enforcement, because that's a scam,” said Chris Irving, Publishers Clearing House.

Scammers send out very legit-looking emails and letters. They photo-shop the logo and promise money, cars, and prizes. So, how would you know if the emails or letters are fake?  First, take a closer look, it usually reveals the scam clues like typos. In this example the letter says, the company "pleases to advice" its supposed winners of their delivery and presentation date.

Along with making the email or the phone call sound or look legit, these scammers work hard at gaining trust and being likable.

“These people are good in that they talk to their victims every day. They gain their trust and some people are listening and thinking they can win this and help their family,” said Lechelle Yates of the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB did a report on sweepstakes, lottery, and prize scams and found con artists often talk to victims every day, build trusting relationships, take careful notes of the victim's family and try to isolate them from family and friends.

“We found that when people were isolated--and it doesn't matter what age you are if you're isolated and don't have someone to say you got a text or an email and then ask what they think. When you're isolated and don't have interaction, you're more susceptible to scams,” says Yates.