‘No really, I won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes’

By Sam Gillihan/ business & consumer services

Even writing this story is a little more bizarre than words can describe.

We have a gentleman out of Idaho Falls who really won $1,000 from Publishers Clearing House. He came to BBB initially to confirm everything was real and get help with his paperwork. I confirmed with officials at PCH who said everything was legitimate and the man left very happy.

Last week, he returned with a photocopy of his check with the words “FRAUD” scrawled across it.

He said he had taken the check to Wells Fargo on 1st Street in Idaho Falls, where an employee confirmed the account was not only legimate, but owned by PCH. He was told that PCH’s account is with Wachovia/Wells Fargo.

He said rather than give back the check to the “winner,” the clerk had assumed it to be a fake check.

Under protest, the man explained the BBB confirmed everything was real. The Wells Fargo cashier said, “BBB wouldn’t know – they don’t see the same kind of fraud that I do.”

So the cashier took the check from the man, voided it and would only give him a photocopy.

I’ve been working with a PCH official, who said she is angry about the situation.

She said Wells Fargo in Idaho Falls never contacted PCH to confirm the account’s legitimacy. She said she is concerned other legitimate winners possibly were given the same treatment and never got their winnings.

Things are in the process of getting resolved but I just thought it was a curious and unfortunate example of a person who does everything right and still walks away empty-handed. Hopefully he’ll be getting his replacement check soon.



Filed under Our Staff

4 responses to “‘No really, I won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes’

  1. BBB chief trust evangelist Dale Dixon here. I’m still a little burned by the teller questioning BBB’s fraud fighting capability. Better Business Bureau stopped at least $300,000,000 in fraud in Idaho during 2011 (yes, I counted the zero’s and that number is correct). We work with local, state & federal law enforcement – and report our fraud stats into the national database (look at the fourth name on the list: http://www.ftc.gov/sentinel/datacontributors.shtml)
    ‘nuf said.
    PS – If you’re looking for a bank that upholds BBB’s standards for trust – you have some great options: http://www.bbb.org/boise/accredited-business-guide/banks/305/

  2. Dashawn

    Thats crazy the same thing happened to my mom.. Twice. She tried to cash the checks she got from them they were both fake and the bank ripped the vhecks up.. Its was embarrassing. It made her feel like she was involved in some type of check fraud operation.

  3. Check out this latest report where people have been receiving calls about winning the PCH. You’ll want to cringe! http://www.dallas.bbb.org/article/in-the-news—-publishers-clearing-house-scam-40199

    REMEMBER: If you didn’t enter, you can’t win. PCH will never ask you to pay money for winning. Never!

  4. Pingback: If John Franklin calls from PCH, hang up! It’s a scam | snakeriverBBB

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