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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 20401
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs exp with Consumer Law issues
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I was contacted by American Publishers Clearing House, complete

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I was contacted by American Publishers Clearing House, complete with a Claim Number. However they said because the money was drawn up in New York, I needed to pay $4,500. When I told them I do not have the money, (I am a disabeled veteran and my wife just lost her job) I was told they could provide financing so I could receive the check. They also told me they were a Sweepstakes Clearing Center and that they have in their possesion a check made out in my name from Bank Of America for the $450,000. Please advise who can I contact to verify if this is real. Also they gave me dates saying I won the second place prize on March 29, 2010 and the deadline to claim is Aug 15th.

I can tell you without any reservation that this alleged sweepstakes win is a scam. This is a fairly typical scam being run where scammers use legitimate companies names to carry out a scheme to get consumers to send them money. No legitimate sweepstakes will ever ask for money up front, or ask you to deposit what looks like a valid check and send them the "fee." Those checks although initially looking to you and your bank like legitimate checks are not. By the time the bank finds out they are fraudulent, you have already been taken for the money you sent to the scammers. You and not the bank, will be on the hook for the money.

In this particular case, the scammers have used Publisher's Clearing House as their rouse. You can see what PCH says about these scams by going to their website at:

Depending on how you received this notice, you can report this attempted fraud to the authorities. You can report them to the Minnesota Attorney General's Office. If you received this news through the mail, you can report it to the Postal Inspection Service since it is mail fraud. If you received it via the internet, then you can report it to the Government's cyber crime unit IC3 by going to
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