Welcome back to Junk Mail Saturday! This is where I will review some of the junk mail (both postal and e-mail) that was received through the week. We call it “junk mail” but many times there are some golden nuggets in there (more often than not, they are targeted to specific individuals) so hopefully this will help you as we look at what the offers are. I have seen some very funny ones and some great ones. Feel free to send me yours to be included as well!
Junk Mail Saturday
The Offer: The letter reads – [blockquote]
I am pleased to inform you that you have qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets. Congratulations. These tickets are valid for travel anywhere in the Continental US from any major international airport. The retails value of this award is up to $1,398.00. Certain restrictions apply.
We have attempted contacting you several times without success. This is our last attempt. If we do not hear from you soon, we may need to issue the ticket vouchers to the alternate. Please call me today at 1-855-879-8217. Your claim number is ____________[/blockquote]
The Fine Print: On the back of the tri-fold letter: Certain restrictions apply. Call for details. Taxes and registration fees and/or processing fees are the responsibility of the recipient. This promotion is not sponsored by or affiliated with US Airlines or any other third party business referenced in this promotion but they are major suppliers.
The Summary: This letter was given to me by a reader. Unfortunately, he had tried calling before contacting me to ask my opinion. He had spent quite a while on the phone and greeted by rude people, one of whom hung up on him. These types of scams have begun circulating widely again as of late. Here are a few ways to spot this particular scam.
- There is no such airline as US Airlines
- Scams such as these always place a tone of urgency and mention that they have been trying to reach you so you feel compelled to call back quickly.
- No list of restrictions meaning they want to tell you over the phone so you do not have them on paper to know exactly what they are.
- No form of contact for them other than the phone number and the name of some vice-president
- This is a promotion that is actually not even sponsored by the company writing the e-mail, but they are listed as major suppliers
- Scams such as these are usually like a timeshare pitch but for airlines. So, they will pay the base fare of the ticket but require you to pay all taxes and fees and may require you to stay a certain number of nights at one of their hotels which will have a markup of over 300% vs what you would find.
- To read what US Airways has to say about the fictitious US Airlines, read this.
The Verdict: VERY BAD! If you get something like this, do not even think about calling! They are going to try to harvest your information and try other scams.
If you receive an offer that sounds too good to be true, remember that it probably is!