Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Feel So Special! Or, Deceptive Adverscamming

     Have you received one?  The marvelous letter -- on Official (sans address) Letterhead, no less -- that is "pleased to inform [...] that [I] have qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets," from "American Airways."   A $1398 value!  Oooooh!  Signed by the Vice President, too -- if you check online, you'll find a lot of different "Vice President" names on those letters.

     Other versions use "U.S. Airlines" instead of "American Airways." Neither name is a real airline.  U. S. Airways (which is quite real) has had to put up a Scam Alert page about it. So does the Better Business Bureau.

     It is either a phishing scam or a deceptive advertising campaign, just one side (or the other) of legal, for a "travel club."  I'm told if you call the number, a nice -- or at least fast-talking -- person collects some information from you and tries to get you to attend a sales pitch for a "travel club."  But don't call; that just lets 'em know you might be a good prospect for similar crapvertising.

     There still ain't no free lunch.  But there are plenty of people out to make a buck on the guileless optimism of their fellowmen.  Don't let them.


Robert Fowler said...

I seem to get quit a few of these. I don'r even open them, just delete. Kind of like the Nigerian millionaire wanting my help.

rickn8or said...

I'm starting to feel left out; all I get are snail-mail invitations to dinner to listen to presentations concerning some new investments.

Talk about missing your target audience...

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

The ones I love are the folks trying to sell me an extended warranty for my car, because my factory warranty is about to expire. The problem is that they don't seem to be aware that I bought a genuine extended plan directly from Ford when I bought the car...(and have already used it, too! $439 repair last May cost $107, the deductible + 7% Ohio sales tax.)

The travel agent and retirement seminar stuff goes straight into File 13.

B.S. philosopher said...

I've gotten one of these letters from US Airlines. It was preceded by a cold call. Concerning, because my telephone number is unlisted.