Publishers Clearing House Scam | How it works, how to deal with it

I have been seeing a rise in the Publishers Clearing House impersonation scams/Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams. These are a vile form of scammers, however; I see people baiting them and doing things with the information that is not an efficient way of doing things. I have seen PCH victim info end up on here among other things, so here is a PCH guide.

What is the Publishers Clearing House (PCH) impersonation scam?
The PCH scam is a sweepstakes scam, the common name they use is PCH but they will use other names such as Canadian Lottery, America Sweepstakes, Senior Sweepstakes and other names. The sweepstakes scam consists of either a call, an email, a letter in the post or them directly reaching out to you on social media telling you that you’ve won a prize and car.

They will contact the victims either via Text or Call, and will speak about how they won a prize but there’s a fee. This fee is not able to be deducted from the money you’ve won; you must pay that fee to get your prize. To us this is an obvious scam but to the elderly it is not evident. To pay this fee they typically will get victims to either purchase gift cards, cheque, cash in a box, Zelle or a wire. I have even seen some ask for my Credit Card. There are a ton of other methods used but those are the main ones. They will ask for bank info, passwords and Social Security numbers.

Why are these some of the most vile scammers?
These people don’t just call victims and scam them; they take over their lives by taking over their bank accounts, stealing all their money, turn them into unknowing money mules while still scamming them, I still call these Victims. That’s is what they are; Mules are those that are knowing participants in the scam that profit from the victimization of others. Most alarming is that they have people in the US who can spy on the victims, meet up with them and even once case they attempted to coerce a victim into getting into their fake taxi to kidnap them. They will even call these victims up angry and let their anger out on them after they know a baiter has pranked them, or a baiter has called cursing them out or trolling them.

How should I bait them?
Baiting them is not the easiest task. With a tech support scam, it’s just going along with the script, but with these people you have to get creative. The main reason for this is when you act like you send money, and they don’t receive it from the people whose info they used (either victims or money mules) they then can potentially harm those people or go after them. It requires excuses such as, “oh my bank blocked it” or “they detected the money in the package” and so on and so forth. Diversion from either the potential victim or mule is pertinent.

To actually start the bait all you need is a burner phone number such as a virtual phone number from the likes of Talkatone or TextNow. Do not use your real number! Places such as store info on numbers and let you search it up and find information on people such as names and addresses, even if you remove it, there are still other services. They will spam your phone with calls to reach you.
Not necessary is having an email unless they want to send you things such as fake documents.
Using fake information is best, make sure the address you use doesn’t lead to someone or somewhere where harm could be likely.

Now what to do when you’re on call?
Be a victim, play along and gain some trust with them first. I personally have a goal to gain addresses to send money to, bank accounts and other financial information that could lead to a victim or a mule that I can either report or pass on to an experienced advocate to call. When I have achieved everything, I need, and don’t want to speak with them anymore, I just ignore their calls, that still doesn’t stop them! Be prepared!

I would recommend watching baits from people such as, and come to mind for PCH baiting, those baits will show you how they transpire, and evolve, and how you can have fun doing them.

How do I report the information I get?
I don’t report any information myself because the information obtained from a bait is complicated. A bank account or address might be tied to a victim, an address may be tied to a victim so I forward on the information to @sandbar on (not certified but reports to Lacey & Cagney) or Cagney and Lacey @ [email protected] via an email. They have connections with FBI for reporting lottery scam information and are trained victim advocates who can determine the identity of the information and what to do with it in a timely and responsible manner. You can also send it to me and I will forward it @ ReconScammers#9478 or you can message me here on

More information on Avah Outreach Group:
They are also involved with the AnyDesk Anti-Fraud Taskforce charity also:

If you have any victims or are a victim please go to Lacey, Cagney or Myself and they will be called (or you will be if your a victim) by people who know what they’re doing. A PCH isn’t like tech support or refund or SSA etc. where you can tell them to go get their pc cleaned at a store or help them, call their bank and call a social security office to get their SSA# secured, they will be in deep. If you do this wrong you can scare victims, some may have health issues and scaring them could be an issue, any stress could, they need the ability to reach out for months and sometimes for years after the scam has been stopped. Denial that they are a victim is a long process to break. It is not just one phone call with these people. The damage is ongoing, so please forward it to Lacey, Cagney or myself so the victim can properly be contacted and saved.

Please Avoid putting victim info on, it’s a public form for scambaiting, people will end up calling the victim either trying to save them or troll them because the victim info was posted. This has happened in the past and the victim’s info was posted as a “MULE”. The family member saw it and Lacey has been working with this entire family for over 4 months now trying to help them recover. The woman was harassed by people on this forum. I wish to avoid this in the future to make this a safe forum for everyone. Unlike the scams out of India where majority of the accounts and names are complicit money mules, PCH is very different and majority are victims. If you don’t know for sure and need assistance don’t post it, report it to Lacey, Cagney or myself.

What do they do after they’ve scammed the victim?
They will say there’s more fees or that something else is required and then ask for more money. They may pretend to be the FBI and that they want to help you secure your funds but as you know that will cost you; or they will pretend to be victim support and you pay a fee but get all the money back you lost. The supposed ‘FBI agent’ I was speaking with, I believe I got a text, but didn’t end up speaking with them. I said that I called PD or that they were called and that they said it was a scam and I didn’t speak with them. They pretended I had won 40 million and to stop speaking with the other PCH scammers I was in communication with. It is all very complicated and disturbing.

What can I do to help?
Gathering bank accounts, wire information, addresses to send money too etc. for PCH scammers and reporting them to the sources mentioned above would be great and the best thing you can do if I am being honest. Any numbers you gather for these scammers can be sent to the people mentioned above but also put here on so other’s can bait them.


Thanks for sharing. Never knew these scams were a rot so deep.


The universe is amazing! i literally was talking to my partner in scambaiting yesterday about what to do with bank accounts etc that you get from PCH scammers, as I would love to get one of these scams to deal with one day. Here the info I need just fell into my lap. Much appreciated!


Thank you and thanks @LaceyEvans


Thank you, your also appreciated for being willing to help.


Wonderful description and great advice! Everyone who calls PCH should read this.


Fun Fact: PCH type scammers are basically 24 hour scammers. I’ve had baits at 2am! Don’t worry about waking them up.

These can be long-time, long-bait scammers. Baits can last for weeks, even months. They can change into romance scams, black magic hex removal scams, etc. It’s CRAZY!


They are definitely crazy.


These guys keep their victims for years, gathering info and reporting it to the people mentioned on the thread is one of the ways to help fight these scammers.


This is a great documentary if you want to learn more.


Very good documentary to watch.


I would previously report them directly to the Financial Institution, however I am working to develop a good working relationship with the US Dept Of Justice’s (DOJ’s) “Internet Crime Complaint Center”, aka “IC3” (https://www.IC3.GOV) …

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Sounds good, one thing to note is: Cagney and Lacey have FBI connections and connections to the Jamaican Authorities, reporting them to IC3 before determining if it is a victim or not will be futile. The victim needs to report the crime through proper channels. If its a mule then its fine but Cagney and Lacey do extensive research to determine the difference between the two and handle them through the proper channels. IC3 reports tend to swirl in a system unless connected to a definitive crime where money is exchanged, even in the case of a mule obtained during a bait.


Something about the PCH scams terrifies me. I’m not sure what it is, and I would love to figure it out. This doesn’t mean I won’t bait them, and report information I obtain to people who can act on it, but still. Scary. Maybe it’s the fact that they can hop on a plane and get to the statees in 2 hours? shrugs

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They already have people in the states that they can get to go to victims houses, that’s why you don’t use an address that links back to someone. Mine I think goes to a hotel.


Yeah. Mine goes to a mall. I need to make sure that mall still exists before I use it for one of these scams, though. I saw something that indicated it was closing.

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I always use the address of a famous MLB stadium that is many miles from me.

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Holy shit man! Does that happen? At the worst I’ve heard scammers hired an ‘uber’ for the victim or even kidnapped them. In one comment on some other forum, a dude said he stopped a bunch of what he believed were those kind of people you mentioned telling the victim that gift cards are legit and were forcing him/her to pay their scammer.

It’d be lovelier say they went to the victim’s house and were instead greeted by gunshots. This apparently happened in one case where the victim brutally shot dead the scammers (wasn’t the PCH scam, read a news article) who came to their house to threaten him and went absconding. But apparently the case never materialized against victim, probably because he was influential.

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If a victim ends up stopping falling for the scam or something happens involving money they can and me and the people I work with have heard it happen from victims. One a scammer gave someone a pote tial money mule or victim to the people mentioned on the thread, turned out to be a victim, they were contacted and saved and someone ended up coming to the victims house as a Taxi and I believed tried getting them inside (this is from memory, keep in mind) and she didnt tell anyone for two days after it happened. It’s crazy stuff, these small people seem small but they have connections in the US but that all depends on the scammer or scammers running the scam on what number. Some are small, some are big and some work in groups etc.

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