Publisher’s Clearing House calls flood Snake River Region; Burley woman avoids scam

A Burley woman is a recent target of a scam that promised $250,000 through the Publishers Clearing House.

“Skepticism is probably the best response,” Todd Dvorak, communications director at the Idaho Attorney General’s office, told the Times-News. “There are 101 varieties of scams out there. We haven’t had any other reports yet about this type of thing, but it’s never a good idea to send money or personal information.”

Scammers pretending to be Publishers Clearing House, contacted Burley resident Donna Weech telling her they needed her to pay attorney fees. Once paid the winnings would be released to her. They asked her to purchase a Green Dot Money Pak card for $205, telling her a PCH representative would be by to pick up the card after  a second phone call. Fortunately, Weech’s daughter-in-law was available to talk her into not buying the card.

Better Business Bureau has received phone calls almost daily since the beginning of March when PCH sends out its spring mailing, and the scammers know this and immediately beginning calling, trying to convince Snake River Region residents they are winners.  Last year, BBB reported on a similar incident. You can always check at or call 800-218-1001 if you’re suspicious.

Publishers Clearing House officials state they will never call on the phone announcing winners, and will never ask for fees. There is “no purchase necessary” to enter the PCH Sweepstakes.

Tips to identify a fake PCH sweepstakes are found at

  • Prize winners will not call by phone or by regular mail. Consumers who win over $10,000 will be awarded in person by the PCH Prize Patrol, with no advance notification. Those who win less than $10,000 will receive an affidavit via certified mail. Additionally, PCH does send out post cards and mailings promoting their services and surveys.
  • At the real Publishers Clearing House, the winning is always free. Do not send or wire any money to collect the prize. Don’t trust anyone requesting payment for “taxes,” “custom fees,” “border security” or other purported reasons.
  • If suspicious of a fraudulent call, letter, e-mail or check from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, contact the real PCH at 1-800-645-9242 then press 5.

1 Comment

Filed under Scam alert

One response to “Publisher’s Clearing House calls flood Snake River Region; Burley woman avoids scam

  1. Mark Burrows

    Those of you who actually do not have legal representation, well yes, millions don’t because it’s expensive to retain a lawyer or a law office. Some law offices will offer affordable terms, sort of like an insurance policy so you can make free inquiries and then hire them if needed.
    Yet, if you do not, the government does supply free legal aid. I know many of you just hate using the system, but it’s there, so use it.
    If I received a notice to pay my attorney fees, that would send up a red flag because right now, I don’t recall owing them anything and I would be on the phone giving them an earful immediately if I wasn’t already aware that it was a scam.
    One would think that there should be billboards out warning people not to purchase Green Dot Money Packs because someone requested one on the phone or by email that you do not know personally or intimately.
    A good thing to do is ask if they will accept a certified check. After all, those are as good as gold, the down side is that they are traceable. So, if they only accept Green Dot, that is high cause for suspicion.

    Mark Burrows

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