is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

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Johm221122
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is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by Johm221122 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:31 am

I received a dozen roses at my door with a terrible hand written note saying I'm beautiful. The next day I received a e mail from publishing clearinghouse sweepstakes saying I would receive a dozen rosses from a local florist (there a block away) and that l am a finalist for the grand prize
Scam?
Coincidence?
What is your take on this? The poor note makes it weird.Should I run this by police to see if it has happened before?


John

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Re: is this a scam

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:09 am

Hard to say. Could be a scam, could be a prank by someone who knows you, could be a strange secret admirer or stalker, could be legit but just a florist with bad penmanship, could be anything really. Just stick to the principles of not giving out personal information in response to an unsolicited email. That way, if it is a scam, they'll get no information from you.

Also be aware of your surroundings and call the police if anything seems amiss, just in case it is something more nefarious like a stalker. I'd lean more towards prank if this happened Monday though, given that it was April Fools Day.

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Re: is this a scam

Post by Johm221122 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:33 am

Mudpuppy wrote:Hard to say. Could be a scam, could be a prank by someone who knows you, could be a strange secret admirer or stalker, could be legit but just a florist with bad penmanship, could be anything really. Just stick to the principles of not giving out personal information in response to an unsolicited email. That way, if it is a scam, they'll get no information from you.

Also be aware of your surroundings and call the police if anything seems amiss, just in case it is something more nefarious like a stalker. I'd lean more towards prank if this happened Monday though, given that it was April Fools Day.

After thinking about it first step will be to call florist as soon as they open in morning. I've been entering the sweepstakes on internet for the last week, pretty high Tec if its a scam.Too add one more thing flowers left after 10 pm (kind of late? )
John

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Re: is this a scam

Post by nisiprius » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:39 am

I don't think it would be overreacting to call the police--using their non-emergency number if they have one and you know it. Watching out for senior fraud is one of the things cops do. What's the worst that can happen? They will tell you that they don't know anything about it. And you could check with the florist to make sure the flowers were really delivered by them.

You're already alert for a scam, so stay alert. Whatever you do, if anyone who says they are from Publishers' Clearing House says they need your credit card number or bank account numbers, or wants any money at all for anything at all, then assume you are being scammed and do not give it to them. That would be the big danger--that someone could fool you into thinking that you were about to miss out on the big prize if you didn't do what they wanted. PCH has a web page on fraud protection you might want to read.

Googling suggests that Publishers' Clearing House sometimes? always? does send flowers before arriving with a prize. So if it's a scam or a prank, yes, it's a fairly detailed (and cruel) one.

Before you get your hopes up too far, the question is this: if it is legitimate, what is the range of prizes that Publishers' Clearing House awards, and what is the smallest prize for which they send flowers? I think it could be as low as $1,000. I hope for your sake you actually have won a prize, but it could well be just $1,000, assuming this web page is for real. Certainly they give "prize patrol" treatment to $10,000 prizes.

A big reason PCH does this is to get publicity--to keep the dream alive they people to believe in the prizes and the "prize patrol." I wouldn't put any weight at all on being "finalist" for the grand prize. After all, their whole method of operation is to constantly keep people thinking they are close to winning the grand prize. Naturally, the big national publicity is always about the big prizewinners. If they're spending even $1,000 on a prize, and the point is to publicize PCH, another $30 for flowers and, oh, maybe it costs $1,000 to send someone out with big cardboard checks and a sign to stick to a rental truck to spend a day visiting four people--$250 per prize--isn't out of line.

Naturally, I'm dying to know how it turns out, so please follow up when you find out the answer.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: is this a scam

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:46 am

If it is a scam, it's clever. It probably evokes in the recipients the same reaction as the ILOVEYOU virus.

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Re: is this a scam

Post by Johm221122 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:51 am

Florist said they didn't deliver them.Police said no information about anybody else having similar incidents, but contact them if anyone tries to get personal information. I guess all I can do is wait. Thanks for link, I'll post if anything comes up
John

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Re: is this a scam

Post by slowandsteadyone » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:55 pm

Johm221122 wrote:I received a dozen roses at my door with a terrible hand written note saying I'm beautiful. The next day I received a e mail from publishing clearinghouse sweepstakes saying I would receive a dozen rosses from a local florist (there a block away) and that l am a finalist for the grand prize
Scam?
Coincidence?
What is your take on this? The poor note makes it weird.Should I run this by police to see if it has happened before?


John

At best, it's a scam. At worst, it's someone with even more nefarious plans for you.

You said they sent you an email - look at the headers of the email to see what IP address it came form. The method to do this will differ depending on what you use for email. Here is a link that shows how to do it with various email providers:

http://support.google.com/mail/answer/22454?hl=en

The headers can be a little tricky to read but they will tell you the IP address of where it came from.

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Re: is this a scam

Post by nisiprius » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:21 pm

:oops: Uh oh. Somehow I missed the fact that it was an email, not paper mail.

http://info.pch.com/consumer-informatio ... protection

Publishers Clearing House (PCH) does NOT send e-mails notifying consumers that they have won a major prize (of $1,000.00 or more). If you win a major prize in our sweepstakes our PCH Prize Patrol will contact you in person. For smaller prizes (less than $1,000.00), winners are notified by overnight delivery services (FedEx, UPS), certified mail, or email in the case on online giveaways.
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Re: is this a scam

Post by SteveNet » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:38 pm

If that was all that was included with the flowers and the E-mail, I would expect a follow up correspondence in some manor or other that would either ask for money, have you come to a location at a certain date and time, (thereby leaving your home vacant). I would strongly suspect the latter, setting you up for a robbery.

I believe you did right by informing the police, and I would notify them if another piece of this puzzle emerges.
Obviously not a generic internet scam, as flowers were actually hand delivered, which means someone is nearby and watching.

No florist name or other markings on the box that the flowers came in?

Keep the note and the flowers and box and e-mail.
I might even suggest bringing the flowers and box to that local florist and see if they can tell if they look like their work, they may be able to attach a person with the aprox time and date if they were bought there.

But then I'm a bit paranoid, :D
No reason not to be cautious.
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Re: is this a scam

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:13 pm

Johm221122 wrote:Florist said they didn't deliver them.Police said no information about anybody else having similar incidents, but contact them if anyone tries to get personal information. I guess all I can do is wait. Thanks for link, I'll post if anything comes up
John

Personal information or financial information might be the least of your worries. You're thinking scam, but as I said, it could also be stalker/strange secret admirer, given the actual physical visiting of your home. The late timing of the delivery of the flowers makes a benign prank less likely, although a mean prank is still a possibility.

Think back to the past month or two and see if you recall any other strange incidents. Be aware of the people and vehicles around you and your home. Hopefully it's just some teenagers trying to get "lulz" online for pranking random people, but it doesn't hurt to be vigilant.

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Re: is this a scam

Post by Mel Lindauer » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:01 pm

Be especially aware if they ask for your bank info so they "can deposit your winnings in your account". More than likely, they'd be making withdrawals, not deposits.
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Re: is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:17 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (consumer scam). I also retitled the thread.
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Re: is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:13 pm

Would love a follow up to this - see what the scam is.
PCH gives roses directly from the van. Apparently there are a bunch of Publ. Clearing House
scams out there.

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BL
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Re: is this a scam

Post by BL » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:36 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Johm221122 wrote:Florist said they didn't deliver them.Police said no information about anybody else having similar incidents, but contact them if anyone tries to get personal information. I guess all I can do is wait. Thanks for link, I'll post if anything comes up
John

Personal information or financial information might be the least of your worries. You're thinking scam, but as I said, it could also be stalker/strange secret admirer, given the actual physical visiting of your home. The late timing of the delivery of the flowers makes a benign prank less likely, although a mean prank is still a possibility.

Think back to the past month or two and see if you recall any other strange incidents. Be aware of the people and vehicles around you and your home. Hopefully it's just some teenagers trying to get "lulz" online for pranking random people, but it doesn't hurt to be vigilant.


I do hope you actually won something.
I was wondering if you have females in your household, as they seem more likely to be targets of stalkers (but not the only targets). It is good that you are being alert and watchful. I recommend reading "the Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker ($7.19 at Amazon), who suggests using our intuition to avoid risky situations. IIRC, it was given to female students at a college after a girl was shot in a parking lot.

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Re: is this a scam

Post by Johm221122 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:48 am

nisiprius wrote::oops: Uh oh. Somehow I missed the fact that it was an email, not paper mail.

http://info.pch.com/consumer-informatio ... protection

Publishers Clearing House (PCH) does NOT send e-mails notifying consumers that they have won a major prize (of $1,000.00 or more). If you win a major prize in our sweepstakes our PCH Prize Patrol will contact you in person. For smaller prizes (less than $1,000.00), winners are notified by overnight delivery services (FedEx, UPS), certified mail, or email in the case on online giveaways.

Email said I was finalist for grand prize, it would seem remotely possible if note wasn't so poorly written and didn't say " I'm beautiful"
I have gotten lots of these emails try to get me to keep doing searches in PCH search engine.
I tried Slowandsteadyone's link but I don't seem to be able to get in on mobile device
I will post more if any else happens
John

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Re: is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by BL » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:34 am

Maybe someone else got the same email and thought it would be a good joke to put flowers on your doorstep. Did they ring your bell, by the way? Anyway that would be one way to have a "sort of" connection between the two events without there actually being a connection. Nasty trick, if so, unless you have practical jokers in your circle of friends.

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Re: is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by SGM » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:11 pm

Winning a publishing clearing house prize was the start of a scam that has been going on in a local retirement community. Two elderly ladies were convinced that they were winners and the boyfriend of one may also have been convinced at one time. It has been very difficult to extricate at least one of these women from the scam, and she still thinks that she is a winner despite emptying her checking account willingly. Be wary and notify the police immediately.
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Re: is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by Johm221122 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:16 pm

Just received email saying i'm still a finalist. Just don't know about roses, PCH said I would receive them so I chalk it up to part of there publicty stunts. None of my freinds or relatives are this high tec for it to be a joke. Just keeping my guard up and my fingers crossed (I guess someone does win)

John

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Re: is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by maitrina » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:37 pm

In your skepticism, you've missed the nicety and smell of free flowers. It's a scam but so what?
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Re: is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:00 am

.
Last edited by VictoriaF on Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by Abe » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:54 am

For several years before my elderly mother died, she received sweepstakes mail from Publishers Clearing House and Readers Digest. It always sounded like she was about to win a lot of money, but she needed to sign a document and mail it back to them. When she signed the document, she was authorizing them to send their junk. When she died, her house was full of books, cassette tapes, cd's, etc. Most of it was never opened. They would send it to her and send her a bill every month which she paid. One time, they had her convinced that she had won. She went out and bought new clothes to wear to Florida or wherever it was she was supposed to go to get the money. Of course, that never happened. These people prey on the elderly and ignorant.
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Re: is this a scam [Received gift, may have won a prize]

Post by Johm221122 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:34 pm

Abe wrote:For several years before my elderly mother died, she received sweepstakes mail from Publishers Clearing House and Readers Digest. It always sounded like she was about to win a lot of money, but she needed to sign a document and mail it back to them. When she signed the document, she was authorizing them to send their junk. When she died, her house was full of books, cassette tapes, cd's, etc. Most of it was never opened. They would send it to her and send her a bill every month which she paid. One time, they had her convinced that she had won. She went out and bought new clothes to wear to Florida or wherever it was she was supposed to go to get the money. Of course, that never happened. These people prey on the elderly and ignorant.

I still receive email but never no mention of flowers.They sure make it seem like you will win (I won't hold my breath) I just don't likd the idea of someone putting things at my door at night
John

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