By Peter Hoss
Generally speaking one cannot win a lottery without buying a ticket. There is at least one notable exception, the Publishers Clearing House, which has been around for a considerable time. They award large prizes and publicize the winner by knocking on the door with a sheriff and other dignitaries in attendance, making a spectacle of awarding the loot to the lucky winner. Scam artists have copied the procedure, but have omitted two prominent features, which makes the scam easy to detect if the program is understood by the intended victim.
The Publishers Clearing House is not a scam per se.
Initially representatives of Publishers Clearing House do not contact any potential customers by phone or the Internet. It is all by mailing material containing coupons meant to purchase various numerous products. This is all about promising larger rewards to market other products. It must work because they keep doing it.
Once the intended victim has been flooded with coupons, the calls begin trying to sell you this or that by redeeming coupons. They do not stop even if not answered or returned. The only way out is to ignore the calls, or maybe the do not call list, which may not work if they have your number. The scam artist also tells that you are progressing up the list toward the big reward and are almost there.
Now comes the bait and switch. The scam artist tells that you are within a group which will win big money, but the catch is a fee which has to be paid to collect the money. If you say you don’t have the money the scam artist may offer to deposit a check in your account. This is an old trick. By the time your…
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