‘I just think it’s deplorable’: Publisher Clearing House imposter scam targeting KC area

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Scammers are posing as the Publishers Clearing House and sometimes stealing tens of thousands of dollars from people nationwide.

Locally, the FOX4 newsroom has been flooded with calls from people reporting these scams.

It’s almost everyone’s dream, the Publishers Clearing House showing up at your door with a camera crew and a big check. Unfortunately, PCH says people are preying on this dream with scam calls and letters.

“I was sitting right here and my phone rang and this guy says, he gave his full name, ‘I’m with Publishers Clearing House and you’ve just won $750,000.’ And I starting laughing,” Donald Strange of Liberty said.

Strange says he got the call Monday and immediately knew it was a scam.

“And the connection broke,” Strange said. “I guess he thought I wasn’t going to be too serious with him.”

PCH has put out warnings on this, saying it’s happening right now all across the nation.

“People have lost thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars occasionally to these scammers that are using our name and the name of others, so it’s a real problem,” said Chris Irving, the Assistant Vice President of Consumer & Legal Affairs for Publishers Clearing House

Irving says the calls seem to be originating from Jamaica in many cases. He says they’ve seen a steady increase in calls over the last year.

Scammers have done their research, even using the actual names of the PCH people who show up at your door. They ask for you to send money or financial information in order to receive your prize.

“We’ve been following these reports of scams for some time,” Irving said. “They give us great concern.  They use our good name and reputation to try to deceive consumers. At Publishers Clearing House, the winning is always free. You would never have to pay any amount to collect your prize.”

While Strange didn’t fall for it, he fears for those who may.

“I just think it’s deplorable that they would pick on older people, like myself, that worked all their life to try to save money, and then somebody wants to steal it from them,” Strange said.

PCH posted resources and information on the scams here.

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