Congratulations! You’ve won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes.
Not really — but if you’ve heard that one recently, you did win a more dubious lottery: You were contacted by one of the most active scammers in the country.
Public records search site BeenVerified recently analyzed nearly 160,000 call complaints over a two-year period and turned up the numbers used most frequently for scamming people.
The Publisher’s Clearing House guy — at (805) 637-7243 — was the third-most reported in the country. A user of that number also masquerades as Visa’s fraud department and other weird intimidators in multiple languages ranging from Spanish to Chinese.
Most of the top 12 scam numbers were associated with text messages rather than actual calls. These numbers included:
- (865) 630-4266: posing as Wells Fargo
- (469) 709-7630: posing as a generic delivery service
- (858) 605-9622: posing as multiple major banks
- (863) 532-7969: posing as a generic bank
- (904) 495-2559: posing as a lottery
- (312) 339-1227: posing as a weight loss company or delivery service
- (347) 437-1689: posing as Dyson, the vacuum maker
- (301) 307-4601: posing as the U.S. Postal Service
- (878) 877-1402: posing as a generic bank
One of the most complained about numbers actually wasn’t a scam — just a weird marketing stunt for an out-of-season horror movie. If you got a creepy call from (917) 540-7996 around last March, that’s what it was about.