At the start of each new year, it's only a matter of time before our mailboxes and television screens start becoming bombarded with advertising for that year's Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.
Started in 1953, Publishers Clearing House got its roots as a direct marketing company that focused on magazine subscriptions. And for those foolish enough to buy into these marketing techniques, they were promised entry into their annual sweepstakes, offering their winners any number of prizes including $10 million or $5,000 a week for life. But while winning these prizes could be a life-changing moment for most people, scammers have begun posing as members of the company, turning people's dream come true into a total nightmare.
Ellen Olsen had always dreamed of winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes and having the Prize Patrol show up at her door. So when she received a letter from the company with a check for $5,000, she couldn't help but think her dreams were all coming true.
The letter had stated that Olsen was the winner of PCH's $2.5 million grand prize and that the accompanying check was to cover taxes and fees. Things took a suspicious turn when the letter told her to cash the check but tell no one.