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Scam Alert: Beware of Fraudsters Posing as Publishers Clearing House

Apple Bank is there to educate and inform our communities about scams that can creep through the neighborhood."

Apple Bank is there to educate and inform our communities about scams that can creep through the neighborhood. So, unless a Publishers Clearing House van shows up at your house with an oversized check and balloons, you’re probably getting scammed. Here are the details:

 

Publishers Clearing House (PCH, for short) is a household name. Founded in 1953, this company is most famously known for its sweepstakes and giveaways. The chance to win is real, but only if the opportunity is legitimate.  If someone calls you on behalf of PCH to collect a payment, you can be sure that the call is a scam.
 

How the scam works:

  • You receive a call from someone who claims to be from PCH. The caller may sound very official, or use recognizable names to try to reel you in.
  • The caller tells you that you’ve won a fantastic prize.
  • The caller then insists that you have to pay something, for some reason or another, to collect the prize.

 At PCH, it is NEVER necessary to purchase or pay a fee to enter, win, or claim a prize. All PCH prizes are provided to the winners in person with a check in-hand, and with no advanced notification.

 

How you can avoid PCH Scams:

  • Before you proceed with that call, Hit Pause. 
    • Do you remember entering any sort of contest or sweepstakes? If not, think twice about providing any further information.
  • Verify.
            Don’t be pressured to provide personal or financial information over the phone.
    • Scammers may try to convince you that you’ll miss your prize opportunity if you don’t provide them with what they want immediately.
But, keep in mind that no legitimate company will force you to provide information under pressure, so you should feel empowered to put the caller on hold and seek out further information through PCH’s official website or by contacting a PCH representative directly.
 

What should you do if you’ve already given away personal information?

  1. If you’ve given personal information like your debit card number, SSN, login information, or Apple Bank account credentials to a scammer, call the Apple Bank CustomerLine immediately at 914-902-2775 for assistance. Those using TDD can dial 800-824-0710.
  2. Report the incident to:

Help stop scammers at the source.
A hint of prevention, as well as taking measures to report scam numbers to the proper authorities and institutions, can ensure that we’re all working together to fight off fraudsters.

  • Put your number on the National Do Not Call List
    • 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY)
  • Educate yourself about common scams and how to avoid them. Read up on the latest scams and more ways to protect your information at applebank.com/FraudTrends.

 
For further information on identifying and avoiding sweepstakes scams and other kinds of fraudulent offers, you can also check out Publishers Clearing House’s collection of tips on this topic!