Free US Airlines Tickets Are Not What They Seem

The other day I received a hand written envelope with no return address and stamped with a regular stamp rather than metered mail that a company would normally use. When I opened it the letterhead stated simply US Airlines. It had no office or fax number that would normally be present, no address, no additional graphics of any kind. The body of the letter stated that I was qualified to receive an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets valid for travel anywhere in the Continental United States. The letter went on to claim the retail value of these tickets was $1400.00. Certain restrictions apply. I was given a deadline of January 18, 2012 to respond or they would be awarded to an alternate. It gave me a toll free number to call, 1-866-370-3889 and was signed Alexis Doug Vice President.

This seemed suspicious to say the least so I did a little digging. First of all there is no company called US Airlines. There is US Airways and United Airlines but no US Airlines. I don’t know exactly what their con would have been because by calling the number I would be starting to sacrifice personal information (my phone number) which would be playing into their hands. While investigating I found many people had received this same letter. Many had different VP’s and different toll free numbers. Some of the people called the number and were told they had to sit through a 60 minute Q&A session to receive the award. I didn’t read of anyone who followed through and was taken for anything. This is an active ongoing scam so I wanted to inform the Yahoo community to be on the lookout.

I learned my lesson about ten years ago. I was trying to rent our timeshare out because we were unable to use it that year. I received correspondence from a travel agent stating he was setting up a trip for his foreign client to vacation in the US. He sent me a cashiers check for $5000.00 of which I was to take my $1500.00 for the condo rent and send the remaining $3500.00 to his travel agency so he could arrange the remainder of his clients trip. We didn’t know he wasn’t a travel agent and the address for the non-existent agency was somewhere where he could easily grab my $3500.00. If I didn’t have the money to cover the counterfeit cashiers check I would have been charged for the bad check. Pretty messed up law but that’s the way it is!

All I have to show for my misery is an FBI case number, a letter from the FBI and the worthless check itself. To keep yourself out of such unpleasant situations always check. If it looks too good to be true it probably is.

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