CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has sent out a warning regarding a Publishers Clearing House scam that has been reported across West Virginia.

The Attorney General first warned about the scam back in June, after a false letter related to the scam was discovered.

The scam involves the use of a fake letter with the state seal of West Virginia, supposedly signed by the governor and bearing the Attorney General’s name. The fake letter claims that Attorney General Morrisey flew to New York to meet with the Board of Directors of Publishers Clearing House to negotiate the prize for the recipient of the letter.

Consumers who find themselves lured into the scam will give the scammers money to claim the supposed prize.

“I want to reiterate the importance of looking for warning signs such as unusual word choices in the letter or improper grammar,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Most importantly, never give money to a scammer or allow them to access your credit card or computer.”

To verify the legitimacy of any win, Publishers Clearing House suggests prize winners keep these things in mind: 

  • Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes are free to enter and winners never pay to receive their prize.
  • Consumers should never agree to send cash, wire money, buy gift cards or provide account numbers associated with a credit/debit card or bank in order to claim a prize.
  • Publishers Clearing House representatives also will never call winners or ask for personal information. They instead notify winners in-person or via certified mail. 

Anyone who finds themselves victim to a scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.