We received an envelope that appeared to have our home address hand written (upon further inspection it was obviously from a printer). I immediately thought something was fishy since there was no return address. Also, it was postmarked from Phoenix, Arizona.
For laughs, we opened it. The letterhead said “US Airlines” with the caption “Fly the US Skies”. Now, I used to travel a lot in my previous life (before my child came along) and never heard of US Airlines. Sounds like someone is trying to be clever with a cross between US Airways and United Airlines. Here is what the letter indicated (see below).
NOTE: You must respond no later than April 13th, 2011
I am pleased to inform you that you have qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets. Congrulations. These tickets are valid for travel anywhere in the Continental U.S. from any major international airport. The retail value of this award is up to $1,400.00. 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 1-866-220-2310.
<printed signature that is supposed to look like ink>
The bottom of the letter also had reference numbers (consisting of two letters – five numbers) as well.
Stuff like this makes me furious. I didn’t even waste time calling, but instead decided to make it public just incase anyone else receives a similar letter! I googled it and sure enough, there are tons of people out there reporting these scam letters. In exchange for credit card information, they are promised round trip tickets which are NEVER received! Don’t fall for this stuff. If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is!
August 2011 UPDATE: A kind reader sent me the following photos of the travel voucher received. While this is not what my letter looked like, I wanted to share since the company is trying to be more creative with their scam tactics!
**July 18, 2012 UPDATED company name, letter and details!**
Today, I personally received an updated letter, this time from American Airways which is obviously NOT a legitimate airline. The Vice President on mine is Meredith Loya.
I have actually received threats from those involved, they want me to take this blog post down yet I just received their updated fake letter to share and save thousands of people from falling for it!
Without further adieu, here’s the actual letter I received!
“NOTE: You must respond no later than July 25th, 2012.
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 U.S. from any major international airport. The retail 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 alternative.
Please call me today at 1-866-514-9758.
And here is an image of my actual letter! I am located in Orlando, Florida.
August 2012 updated information:
- $1400 fake travel check received in Texas. Signed by Renee Cast at 866-481-2535. This was followed by an urgent package pickup notice, informing recipient to call within 72 hours for ticket number 727 at the Distribution Center at 888-267-1898. She was further informed that this offer was seen on CNBC, Fox Business, and the Travel channel, and that it was not a timeshare or land sale offer. The notice was supposedly sent from West Palm Beach Florida, but the article sender was posted as AirMarriott PKG, somewhere on HW 21, in Covington, Louisiana.”
September 2012 updated information:
- Received in Daytona Beach, Florida from Dana Kline, Vice President at 1-866-345-9853.
October 2012 updated information:
Received emails from people who have received additional letters. Please note the new Vice President names that are being used!
- Readers in Daytona Beach and Indiana have received an identical letter from Dana Kline Vice President dated September 24, 2012.
- Another reader (location undisclosed) received one on October 1, 2012 from Margaret Fultz Vice President.
- Received in Chicago, IL from Cindy Kuhn, Vice President.
- Fake travel voucher received in Indiana, recipient noticed the following disclaimer “This travel certificate must be certified to be valid“. It does not have a certified sticker obviously.
November 2012 updated information:
- $1400 award notification “check” signed by R Lue.
- Another one received from Jamie Cape, Vice President and postmarked from Phoenix, Arizona.
January 2013 updated information:
- Received in New Mexico, came as a tri-folded, computer-generated letter (tear tabs off each end to open with black privacy design on the back). Postage was from Tampa, Florida with Dana Kline, Vice President at 1-855-879-8217.
- Another person received a letter from GVN “Global vacation network” of Clearwater, FL and US Airlines, from Vice President, Dana Kline. Phone #1-855-879-8217.
And to all those commenters (most likely paid by Global Vacation Network or Global Travel Network to sway opinions) who said “did anyone actually go to a presentation” and “do you get free round trip tickets”. Here you go, we finally have proof this is 100% untrue! A lady attended her presentation in Denver, Colorado to see what the deal was with the $1,298 voucher she received. Here is her words (I have NOT edited in any way and she granted permission for me to post).
“I received a similar letter in the mail (attached), and my curiosity got the best of me. I’m from a PR background, and…I don’t know, I was curious how they scam people. My boyfriend is a law student, and we had a dinner planned nearby in Denver, so I convinced him to go with me. I took pictures while we were there (attached in follow up email), and the place reeked of scam. It was in a seedy building around 9:30pm, they played awful luau music, and the couples were all older and/or clearly from a lower socioeconomic bracket. There was a session underway in the backroom where they were walking the couples through some bogus looking travel website on a computer that appeared to be from the 90’s. We stuck out like sore thumbs and right before the session started they pulled us out to have a ‘chat’ in a private office.
We were told that they had ‘overbooked’ and we would need to reschedule. I protested, and told them we confirmed, had a verbal and written agreement from them, and we had upheld our end of the bargain. They clearly had not overbooked, but didn’t seem keen on having a lawyer in the room. I continued to protest and the lady tried to usher us out with a coupon to a bunch of shoddy hotels that has so many stipulations that NO ONE would actually use it (attached in follow up email), and a bunch of analogies that made no sense (she referred to airline overbooking and giving vouchers, to which I explained that airlines give REAL vouchers for money for REAL airline tickets, something she was not offering). I also swiped a business card when we were waiting in the office (attached in follow up email) with a URL that led to this: http://www.mygtn.com/. Clearly a website of the utmost professionalism.
I don’t know why I pushed on, I knew it was a scam before we walked in, but there was something so wrong about the whole thing that incensed me. Many of the people there looked like they don’t have internet at home to check on these types of things, and the urgent date probably led them to call. I think that they have them show a valid credit card (you can cover the numbers when you show it) not for identity theft, but to ensure that these people have credit lines they can use to waste their money on this scam. Yes, the scam should be obvious as it is ‘took good to be true,’ but millions of American were issued housing loans that were too good to be true, and the collapse of the housing market shows us that we are easily fooled.”