Publishers Clearing House scam surfaces in Central Texas

(Photo by Clint Webb)
(Photo by Clint Webb)(KWTX)
Published: Jul. 22, 2016 at 5:45 PM CDT
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A scam involving bogus calls from someone claiming to represent Publishers Clearing House has surfaced in Central Texas, but one intended victim wasn’t fooled by a persistent caller who insisted he’d won $1 million.

David Woodward of Waco, who works at Community State Bank, received a call at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday from a man who identified himself only as David and claimed to represent PCH.

“He explained to us that we had won a grand prize from (a sweepstakes) which we didn’t remember even entering and he said we had won $1 million,” Woodward said.

Then the man asked for his bank account number, and Woodward says he immediately realized something wasn’t right.

“I've seen so much fraud in my 10 years of banking and I know that people get taken every day and I just don't want anybody to get taken,” he said.

Woodward’s caller ID showed the letters PCH, although the call, which was placed from a 518 area code, clearly wasn’t from Publisher’s Clearing House.

“I don't know how they got the initials but that's what it shows on my phone record as being from PCH,” he said.

Bogus claims of Publishers Clearing House prizes are perennially among the top scams reported by the Better Business Bureau, and PCH has an extensive section on its website devoted to fraud protection.

“Our major winners are notified by mail or in person (at our option) and we never phone ahead to disclose that someone has won a major prize,” PCH says.