A few weeks ago, with quite a bit of aggravation, I stated in my blog "Heart Attack Truth" that:
"sometimes, it seems like "some shit just doesn't ever disappear from the internet."
Well, today I am here to tell you that the same sentiment holds true for our dear old and trusted U.S. Postal Service mail.
That's right, snail mail.
Here's a case in point.
For the second time in as many months the letter below has shown up in our mailbox.
As you can see this copy is addressed to Doc.
The first one was addressed to me.
Both are exactly identical except for the dates, value of the rewards and the contact phone numbers.
BE CAUTIOUS....BE AWARE....THIS IS A SCAM !!!
As your trusted blogmaster here at Survive55.com I decided to research this letter and report back to you.
This letter has been floating around the U.S. courtesy of the Postal Service for years.
I found almost exact copies of it referenced on the internet from as far back as the late-1990's.
I guess when a scam is good it gets used over and over again.
Let me start with an article from the website of WGAL Television considered the No. 1 source of news and weather for Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Valley.
It is dated June 18, 2013.
News 8 looks into the letters creating quite a stir
"People all across the country are getting this letter."
It says, “You have qualified for an award of two roundtrip airline tickets.”
“The retail value of this award is up to $1,198.”
"The envelope seemed to be handwritten and the letterhead has the name of an airline that doesn’t even exist."
“It looks like US Airways but it's US Airlines."
"In the last week, dozens of viewers have contacted News 8 to explain the letter, asking if it’s a scam."
"No one had actually called the number on the letter, so News 8’s Brian Roche did."
"He spoke to a woman named Dusty who would only tell me she worked for a marketing firm in Arizona."
“Dusty, just let me clarify--these are two free airline tickets?” asked Brian Roche.
"She told him the tickets were not free, they were "complimentary", as long as he went to a presentation for a travel agency."
"Roche then asked Dusty, “So the bottom line is that this doesn’t cost me anything to go to this?”
"Dusty made an appointment for Roche to attend a presentation."
"So News 8 went to the address and found an empty parking lot and an unmarked building."
"But inside the building there was evidence that this was where "US Airlines" was conducting some business about the "travel deals."
"News 8 learned that anyone responding to the phone number on this letter would get the same sales pitch to attend a presentation."
"One viewer who did attend told News 8 that she and her husband were asked to join a travel club and pay more than $11,000."
"As they tried to leave, the price dropped below $1,500."
"While it may be easy to call this a scam, News 8 is going to stop just short of that."
"What it really seems to be is a promotional campaign designed to get people to join a travel club."
"No one who has contacted News 8 has reported spending or losing any money after getting one of the letters or travel vouchers."
If you want to read more check out:
I don't care if I offend the company behind this letter.
My only worry is that everyone is made aware of what this letter truly stands for.
Here's further proof that this is a scam.
In a commentary on his blog dated April 16, 2012, consumer advocate and journalist Christopher Elliott made these comments about the very same letter that someone he knew had received in the mail:
"Close, but no such airline."
"The offer looked legit."
"There was the company — “US Airlines” — and a familiar logo."
"The offer appeared to be pretty realistic, too."
"It informed him he’d won “2 roundtrip tickets” worth $1,298."
"It was postmarked in Phoenix, Ariz., which is where an airline with a similar name is based."
" If you look closely you’ll spot a few red flags flapping in the wind."
• There is no airline called US Airlines. There is a US Airways based in the Phoenix area."
• The logo is nowhere close to US Airways’ logo, but it looks like an airline logo."
• The sales verbiage is scammy. "
"Forcing you to respond quickly can be a bad sign.
"Also, “certain restrictions” is a code word for “many restrictions” and the final paragraph, which applies even more pressure — that’s an even worse sign."
"The only thing awaiting you when you call appears to be a high-pressure sales presentation for a travel club that offers travel “discounts” after you sign up for an expensive membership."
"This pitch is not new. It rears its head every few years."
It's sole purpose is to uncover and report about deceptions, pranks, magic, frauds, cons, lying, cheating, fakes, hoaxes and illusions.
They have posted a very nice piece about this very same scam called:
I won! I won! (The US Airlines letter scam).
Like the author states so eloquently: "Because if it was called "SCAM Airlines, you'd probably toss the letter right away."
"In this article the letter said (the recipient) "qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip tickets... The retail value of this award is up to $1,298.00."
"Like the other letters, the address was (mechanically) handwritten on the envelope in blue ink."
"There was no return address."
"It was sent from Phoenix, Arizona, like the others, with a letterhead that says "US Airlines."
There is no airline called "US Airlines".
There is a US Airways airline based out of Arizona, so you might be confused into thinking it's the same, but it's not.
So what's this letter about?
If you need to be politically correct then call it deceptive marketing, if not an actual scam.
You might receive your airline tickets but only if you attend a presentation and pay for a travel membership package, or pay them for "fees and taxes."
It's similar to what's called an "advance fee scam", where you must pay a fee before you can get what someone is offering you, whether it's to apply for a job or get the money you supposedly won in a contest.
If you want to search for more info on the internet, search under "us airlines scam".
But to save you the trouble, here are the stories of hundreds of people who got a similar letter:
- US Airlines Award Notification...scam? Fodors
- US Airlines Scam: Round-trip Tickets, Travel Anywhere in the Continental U.S. Hubpages
- US Airlines Scam For 2 Round-trip Tickets, The Unemployed Mom
Here’s another blogger who traced this offer to a company called "Membership Travel Services."
There are over 61,000,000 posts on the internet when you search out "US Airlines letter."
It’s difficult to say.
If they did, it’s a safe bet they sat through a long presentation, endured a high-pressure sales pitch, and ended up paying a steep price for the vouchers.
This is not the only format this scam comes in.
Besides these letters, consumers were receiving travel check vouchers in the mail also with the name of the fictitious "US Airlines."
The marketing company behind these letters has even gone so far as to build an innocuous website to support this letter at "www.USairlinesletter.com."
The usairlinesletter website is an attempt to boost the ranking of a search for "USairlinesletter" to make it look more legitimate.
THIS IS A SCAM.......BE CAUTIOUS.............BE AWARE !!!
This kind of "shit" is scary.
It may not trick everyone but there are those who can be lured into thinking they will get something for free.
Please let me know in my comments section below so I can pass this on to our friends and family.
Friends don't let friends get scammed !!!
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The more Baby Boomers we can help the better place we make this world !!!
Thanks for joining me..........................................................