Scammers pretending to be Publishers Clearing House want your money

Imagine winning $5k a week - forever.

Might sound too good to be true, but Publishers Clearing House says it's picking a lucky winner of that prize in just a few weeks.

And with that prize come scammers trying dupe players into thinking they won, with a catch.

Lana Cowans spends every morning calling Publishers Clearing House, entering her customer ID and then crossing her fingers.

“I call them every day because I truly want to win Publishers Clearing House,” she said.

That all came to a head a few months ago when Cowans got a call from a man claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House with exciting news.

He said she won a two-million-dollar prize, but there was a catch.

“He said you gotta go and take out 2-thousand dollars,” she said.

The caller told her that money would cover taxes and fees. But something didn't sit right, so she Googled the man's name and found out it was a scam.

“If someone tells you you've won a prize but you have to send money, it's not legitimate,” said Chris Irving of Publishers Clearing House.

He says they've seen a recent uptick in con-men using their name.

“The scammers kind of come out of the woodwork and they try to piggy back the same time we awarding the big prize,” he said.

Irving says they work closely with government agencies to try and put a stop to it. Cowans didn't send money this time, but worries others might.

Cowans isn't alone. We've received about a dozen calls on our tip-line in recent months with callers claiming they were scammed or almost scammed by someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House.

So make sure you don't fall for it and warn your friends.

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