Maryland woman turns to News 6 to expose Publishers Clearing House imposter

Conman uses text and phone calls to announce $3.5 million “second prize”

In a whirlwind multi-million dollar con-game, Siree Shindle, a retired dog trainer from western Maryland, thought she had just won second prize in a contest sponsored by the legendary Publishers Clearing House.

ORLANDO, Fla. – In a whirlwind multi-million dollar con-game, Siree Shindle, a retired dog trainer from western Maryland, thought she had just won second prize in a contest sponsored by the legendary Publishers Clearing House.

The voice message came from someone claiming to be Henry Morgan an employee of the United Postal Service in New York.

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Morgan said he needed $399 on a Green Dot money card to cover shipping and taxes for the lucrative cash prize, which included a Mercedes-Benz sedan in the color of her choice.

Shindle said the messages continued through text and email messages, making her think this could all be true because she had entered the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes every year for the past 30 years.

“I don’t know how this guy got all my information. He knew everything,” Shindle told News 6.

Shindle said she became very skeptical when Morgan claimed he worked for the United Postal Service and not Publishers Clearing House.

News 6 checked and found that the United Postal Service does not exist.

What added more doubt to the amazing prize story was the claim by Morgan that Publishers Clearing House was not actually issuing the prize.

According to Morgan, Siree Shindle’s big prize package was coming from Mega Millions.

In an exclusive interview with News 6, Chris Irving, vice president of Consumer Legal Affairs for Publishers Clearing House in New York, confirmed Henry Morgan was in fact an imposter and his claim that PCH sponsored a Mega Millions game was an outright lie.

Irving said the company has been tracking imposters for years and the new multi-media messages were the latest tactic in the scheme to collect money from unsuspecting people across the country.

“They’re offshore using a phone which is their weapon,” Irving told News 6. “We’ve seen that one of the major groups of these scam artists is from Jamaica, we’ve also seen a group in Costa Rica.”

Irving said Publishers Clearing House will never ask a prize winner to pay a fee to collect their prize.

News 6 monitored a conversation between Shindle and the man claiming to be Henry Morgan.

The man continued to stick by his story, stressing that he needed a “Green Dot money pack reloadable scratch card.”

News 6 jumped into the conversation and asked him why there was no evidence he is connected to Publishers Clearing House. He never hesitated.

“First of all my name is Henry Morgan, I’m working at the office of United Postal Service which is located in New York, " he said. “Your package is coming from Mega Millions, not Publishers Clearing House .”

When News 6 asked for the New York number to confirm his story, he hung up.

Shindle reached out to News 6 after seeing our investigations on similar PCH sweepstakes deceptions.

If you have been targeted by a PCH imposter, you can file a report HERE.


About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.