Todd Sloane of the PCH Prize Patrol is issuing another warning reminder on Jan. 23 to fans of his PCH Facebook page, because he doesn't want you to get swindled out of your money this year. Sloane knows that Publishers Clearing House is about to give away a super prize soon that will make all kinds of criminals come out of the woodwork. And he wants to help you know how to protect yourself from them.
In fact, another member of the prize patrol has made a handy video about how to know when you are being targeted by someone posing as an employee of the famous company--and how to know it is a scam. Danielle Lam's scam alert video tips include the following:
You never need to pay to claim a prize," Danielle says.
So if you get a phone call telling you've won a prize from PCH but you have to run down to a local Walmart and buy a Green Dot MoneyPak Prepaid Card...it's a scam!
The only way you will know if you won a million dollars from Publishers Clearing House is if the prize patrol knocks on your door," Lam said.
You've seen the trio show up with balloons, champagne and a big check on television shows about each winner, so you know that's the way they do delivery of the million dollar prizes, so don't let anyone tell you differently.
We never contact you in advance [of the win],' Danielle says, and 'we don't call you on the phone,' and 'we don't tell you that you won a large sum of money through email either."
So if someone calls you up on the phone or sends you an email telling you that you have won a prize you know it isn't the prize patrol or Publishers Clearing House right off the bat. But what about those other kinds of emails this company sends out, the ones telling you that you might have won...or to respond if you want to win? Yes, PCH sends out those emails, but they are just sweepstakes entries you can use for more chances to enter to win; they never say you've actually won.
What about Facebook, PCH has a lot of accounts on that social media site, including a separate page for each member of the prize patrol (Dave Sayer, Danielle Lam and Todd Sloane)? Does the company use that site to notify or contact winners?
Never, ever [do we contact you] on Facebook," Danielle Lam said.
So there you have it. If you win the $1 million a year forever prize being offered by PCH this year you will only learn about it if they come knocking on your front door or chase you down at your workplace. Otherwise, someone else won that money, not you.
And whomever is sending you Facebook friend requests pretending to be Danielle, Dave or Todd is just a scam artist trying to play you for a financial fool. Don't let them do it!
Atlanta Pop Culture Examiner Radell Smith has a degree in criminal justice and behavioral forensics. And she hopes that if you play to win in any contest that you do it safely.