WARNING: Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam Impersonates Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor

By Robert Haugh

The Santa Clara Police Department is warning the public about a scam involving phone calls impersonating Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor.

Here’s how it works: 

  • The target receives a call saying they’ve won a Publishers Clearing House (PCH) sweepstakes drawing. They get a choice of $10,000 a week for life or a lump sum single payment of $18.5 million.
  • The caller asks that the “winner” pay the taxes prior to delivery of the prize money.

According to Santa Clara Police officials, scammers will use caller-ID to look like they’re calling from someplace locally. Then they impersonate an individual from the area.

Here’s what to do if you get such a call:

  • Do not provide any personal identifying information or bank data.
  • Hang up immediately. 

If you have been a victim of this or any other scam, file an online report (www.scpd.org) or call the Santa Clara Police at (408) 615-4700. 

Here’s a site that has info on common scams: www.fraud.org


  1. They called pretending to be publisher”s clearing house. wanted me to pay taxes on money and the Mercedes vehicle.I don”t even have yet and they would reimburse me. I hung up on him. I decided to reach out to Publishers when I saw this sight. These scammers are getting worse and worse. You have to be a kid to believe some of the nonsense.

  2. I once received a spam call from Santa Clara Unified saying they were raising money for Chris Stampolis’ reelection. I was like – uhhh no – nice try Russian hackers.

  3. So an email from Patty Mahan also is trying to get people to buy Target gift-cards. Funny. Even scamming crooks have Patty and Lisa competing. Bru-ha-ha!

  4. Yeah, the caller ID is meaningless. We have gotten spammed by our own ph number.
    Our land line gets about 95% spam. How many extended car warranties can you buy?

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