If your first thought after reading the above headline was, “Hmmm, I don't think there is a U.S. Airlines”, you will most likely not be a victim of one of the most recent direct mail scams out there.
An employee in our law office recently received a semi-official looking notification from some unscrupulous organization dubbing itself US Airlines – although you don't find that out until after you open the direct mail flyer. After alerting her that she only has a few days to respond, she was informed that she “qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets”, and was wished a hearty “congratulations”. And even though “certain restrictions apply”, the tickets are valued up to $1,398.00.
The notification went on to say that they had “tried to contact her several times, and this is our last attempt”. The urgency was ramped up with a closing that threatened if she did not contact them soon, they may need to “issue the vouchers to the alternate” – whatever that means. She was then advised to call and present her claim number to 1-855-879-8217, which at first glance could appear to be a toll-free number, but it is not.
Being the curious, internet-savvy person that she is, our employee Google-searched the phone number, and uncovered several websites alerting people about the scam.
“There are so many people in the world today trying to make a fast buck off of innocent, unsuspecting people,” noted Fort Myers attorney Scot. D. Goldberg, of Goldberg, Racila, D'Alessandro & Noone. “Sadly, these kind of scams happen all the time, and people can lose a lot of money in the process”.
If you receive a suspicious looking piece of mail with an offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Think twice and do a little investigation before you get involved