We received a postcard for an offer that was so obviously fake, we had to laugh. This is my second brush with fraud in two weeks! Here is what it said:
We have identified you and you are now on record. We are happy to contact you directly at your residence to inform you that you have been confirmed to receive this notice for our complimentary* airfare certificate. This offer is real and is no mistake. Please respond promptly so that we may process you.
As soon as we receive your call, we will process your validation number and tell you all about your 2 round trip airfares to many exciting destinations in the Continental U.S.!
Ben Miller, Disbursement Manager
*Some restrictions apply
The postcard, shown above, was troublesome for a few reasons.
1. It’s simply too good to be true. No one gives out free airfares unless you have given them something in return (like your credit card number to join an expensive club). For example, one legit free airfare offer is from Southwest, which requires you to sign up for their credit card.
2. The asterix caveat (“some restrictions apply”) is a huge red flag. Is the restriction that I have to pay for something else to get the “free” airfare? I’m guessing yes.
3. Grammatical errors. The awkward run on sentences were a dead giveaway. Legit companies hire copy writers to weed out mistakes, though I do see a lot of errors in press releases.
4. Lack of company name or logo. The postcard is only signed as what appears to be “Ben Miller.” What company does Ben Miller work for? No idea. Legit companies proudly identify themselves, often to the point of saturation.
5. No existing relationship. Not only do I have no idea what company is sending me this offer, but I’ve never purchased something from them. There’s no legit reason why they would offer free airfare out of the blue.
6. Flimsy reason for gift. The back of the postcard says I’m receiving the free airfare offer in celebration of the mystery company’s anniversary. Puh-leeze. Free donuts, maybe. But free airfares? Get real.
I’m tempted to call the phone number and tell them off but I’m worried they will track the call and sell my number to telemarketers. No thank you!
Have you ever received a postcard for something “free”?