I fancy myself a very laidback, easygoing girl. I’ve always taken pride in my ability to get along with pretty much anyone, and it takes a whooooole lot to make me angry. There are some people though, that can get me fired up every time. Call them what you want–crooks, con artists, swindlers, shysters, thieves–they are all the same, and they are definitely on my Top 5 People That Piss Me Off list.
I guess maybe I was just raised with more dignity than that. I guess my parents and my mentors and the people I looked up to instilled in me that it is important to treat fellow human beings with respect, and that it is imporant to live your life with morals and values. So, whenever I hear about people trying to take advantage of others, it always hits a raw nerve with me. I don’t like dishonesty, and I don’t like people that knowingly prey upon others for their own selfish gain.
In the mail today, Steven received this very ordinary looking envelope.
Of course, we noticed right away, the lack of return address. Steven’s name and mailing address was handwritten, and the postmark said Phoenix, AZ, so we thought perhaps it was one of our friends or family members back in Arizona.
He opened it to see what was inside and found the following letter:
Really? I mean, really people???
This scam has so many holes in it, I don’t even really know where to begin, but let me break it down for you…
First of all, there is no airline called US Airlines. US Airways, yes. United Airlines, yes. US Airlines? Doesn’t exist. If you are going to pull a scam, at least do your research and try to appear halfway legit. This halfwitted attempt is an insult to anyone with even a shred of intelligence.
Secondly, if this letter was, in fact, sent from the Vice President of a major airline, you would expect it to be printed on decent quality letterhead. Companies who can afford to give away $1400 prizes can sure as hell afford some decent stationary. And, any company worth its salt would have put at least a little bit of thought into their corporate branding and marketing. They would have a unique and recognizeable logo, not something that appears to be an ink stain on the paper.
Third, an official letter would include a full return address, both on the envelope and within the letter. None of this smoke and mirrors “Call this random 866 number immediately to claim your prize” malarkey. In our digital age, almost every reputable company has a website that they proudly display on all of their marketing materials. You’d also be hardpressed to find such an official letter that has been handwritten–not in this day of laser printers and mailing labels.
I also love how they put the important NOTE at the beginning about how we must respond no later than May 4. See, that’s how they get you. We received this letter today, on May 2, and these crooks deliberately bait their prey at the very beginning with a sense of urgency.
Do this now or lose it forever!!!
What they’re hoping is that if they can get you all riled up and flustered right away, then maybe you won’t pay as close attention to the finer details of their scam. They just want to get you on the phone. Then, the real games begin. They’ll start promising you the world…all you have to do is give them your credit card or bank account number to pay the “taxes” or “surcharges” to claim your prize. Next thing you know, you’ve got a hole in your pocket where your life savings used to be, and that nice lady who took your information over the phone is nowhere to be found.
Of course, Steven and my first instinct was to just laugh at the foolishness and shred this letter, but then I had a
better idea. Why not expose these losers on my blog? Sure, maybe only a handful of people actually read this thing, but hey, even a handful can spread the word. I even googled this scam and found a great blog by a computer consultant named Brian Morris out in PA who also posted about this scam. Click HERE
to see what he has to say about it. Even better, if you want to have a little fun at the scammers expense, feel free to call the number in the letter (make sure to block your number first) and play your own practical joke on whomever answers the phone.
You know that is the #1 item on my To Do list tomorrow. 🙂
Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all the scammers out there. You are lousy human beings, and you will get what is coming to you eventually. Her name is Karma, and she can be a real b****.
Now, get out there and spread the word, people! Don’t let any of your friends or loved ones fall for this one.