Publishers Clearinghouse Scammer
On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, I received a call from someone pretending to
be a representative of Publishers Clearing House (PCH) who identified
himself as Tony WIsh and told me I had won 5 1/2 million dollars, a
Mercedes Benz, and free petrol for a year for the vehicle - obviously
he was not someone who grew up in the U.S. to use "petrol" rather than
"gas." He asked me what color car I wanted and whether I wanted the
money all at once or in monthly payments and then requested personal
information from me to ostensibly fill out a tax form. I asked him for a
call back number as an assurance that he wasn't a scammer and he gave me
the number 805-399-4139. I asked him where he was located and he told me
was at the PCH headquarters in Washington, D.C., though when I immediately
looked up the number, I saw it was a California number. When I pointed
that out to him, he said that all PCH representatives get 8 numbers,
claiming it was so the people they contacted would not have long distance
charges, though the number he gave was not a local one for me. When I
asked several times what street the headquarters was on in Washington,
D.C., he repeated "you are breaking up." I hung up at that point.
For anyone who might receive such a call and think it could be legitimate,
Publishers Clearing House states on their
Fraud Protection page
that "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."
I filed a complaint at the
Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) Consumer Complaints website as I usually do when I get calls from such
scammers intent on defrauding those they call. I also filed a complaint at the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Complaint Assistant site at where you can select the "Rip-offs and
Impostor Scams" option.
Scammer calling from 210-361-8678
I received a call from 210-361-8678 on my cellphone today. The call was
obviously from a scammer as the message included some statement about my
social security number (SSN) and legal action that would be taken against me
if I didn't call the number from which I was called - I didn't note the
exact message, but I found someone at the
at Phone: 210-361-8678
reporting a message that seemed similar if not the same as what I had
heard. The other person reported he or she received the message below on
July 16, 2018:
Security number is used for some fraudulent activities and due to
that we have in order to suspend your social security number right
away from the Law and enforcement Department and also to freeze
your bank accounts before we go ahead and do that. If you need any
further information about it kindly call back at 210-361-8678. Once
again that's 210-361-8678. Thank you.
There were numerous other people reporting similar calls where someone
was referencing a problem with the person's SSN and advising the person
to call 210-361-8678. The call is obviously an attempt to defraud those
called. I went to the
FCC Consumer Complaint webpage and filed a complaint.
I received an email response to the form I submitted with a ticket number.
The email response from the FCC stated "The FCC is committed to doing what
we can to protect you from these unwelcome interruptions to your day.
Unwanted calls, including illegal and spoofed robocalls, are the largest
category of complaints the FCC receives." It is troubling, though, that
some fraudster has been engaged in this activity using the 210-361-8678
number for a year with no action taken against him. The first report I
saw on the Whycall.me site was
on July 16, 2018, but I saw others reporting the same issue on that webpage
from that date through July 15, 2019. The
Whycall.me site allows one to search
for reports filed by other people on calls from telemarkers and
scammers. The site describes itself thusly:
Whycall.me is a consumer complaints board used to report telemarketers,
robocallers, scammers, and debt collectors that violate the law.
We receive more than 6,000 complaints each month, which helps
potential victims identify and avoid answering calls from problematic
phone numbers. Our global phone book of numbers is powered by
crowdsourcing and online data sources.
The site's homepage advises users of the site to also report the calls
to relevant government agencies, which it lists.
For the number that called me, the site listed the following information:
San Benito, Texas
Its exchange 361 is managed by SOUTHWESTERN BELL - TX
The number is currently on switch number SNBNTXSBDS0 (switch is a
technical specification, provided here for phone hobbyists)
Around 20% of people reported it as "Recorded Message"
You are the 2nd person to search for it here.
There has been a total of 30 comments left about the number.
Latest people reported the number as that of "SCAM, "Social Security'"
I registed an account at the site and posted a note about the call
I received today.