“It certainly appears to be a scam,” the state legislator says. “Sorry for handwriting this note, but I wanted to get this to you right away.”
Representative Youngblood is just one of hundreds of people to call, fax, email or write about a deceptive marketing letter sent out under the guise of a prize giveaway from Sue Long, vice president for American. The letter has the heading “American,” but no contact information and no return address.
“I am pleased to inform you that you have qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets,” the letter starts.
Then moves into putting a value, use and restrictive clause on the tickets, before concluding “This is our last attempt.”
The company emphasizes the need to call immediately to reserve the ticket vouchers or they’ll be passed along to an alternate recipient. If you call 866-365-5016, the person answering does not identify the company, but sets up an appointment for you to attend a meeting at a later date.
“Like you, I’m always amazed at the number of scams that come at our citizens every day,” Youngblood says.
BBB says it’s called the “airline ticket scheme.” It’s one of those you just wish were true. Technically, it isn’t a “scam” because it isn’t illegal, but it’s a scheme you don’t want to get involved in.
You’re going to have to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to get the tickets. These companies are very good at knowing what the laws are and then walking a very fine line to what language is legal versus what language is ethical.