By Robb Hicken/ BBB chief storyteller
Bold letters across the top of the envelope imply there is an urgency about the Express Notice Ladene Oloughlen of Boise received this past week.
The letter claims a large prize amount of unclaimed money “now due for payment” and gives an account number – 7508058078 – to make the transfer.
It goes on to ask for initials to verify the information on a form, and then asks for a $20 transfer fee in cash, check or money orders. The “Cash Prize Account” will be rushed out by a “bonded federal carrier” – the USPS.
BBB is receiving calls from people in the Snake River Region who are asking about Financial Acquisition Agency and Express Notice letter.
In this latest letter, it reads: “These funds are offered by third-party sponsors not affiliated with the Financial Acquisition Agency, an independent notification service.”
BBB files contain a pattern of complaints from people who received a “Rapid Notice” or “Express Notice” letter from Financial Acquisition Agency or American Entry Exchange stating they have won a prize total of $2,536,092.23.
American Entry Exchange responds to complaints by removing requested names from their mailing list and issuing refunds.
On Sept. 9, 2012, BBB sent certified correspondence to American Entry Exchange requesting their voluntary cooperation in resolving complaints on file with BBB and providing steps it will use to end the pattern of customer complaint; however, as of today (1/08/2013) BBB has not received the company’s response.
They aggregate information about sweepstakes people can enter. They make their money from the $20 transfer fee, and additional mailers asking for more money.
BBB warns you not to respond to these letters. While they have some information – name, address – a response will give them your bank account number if you pay by check. If you pay with cash or money order, you’ll never get it back.
Oloughlen made the wise choice to send the “Express Notice” to the trash can.