Miscellaneous SCAMs...and how to avoid them!

Lies, Fakery, Greed and Tomfoolery

A collection of mailed SCAMs

Quotations from a SCAM letter sent by: “Sweepstakes Clearinghouse”

a division of Allied Marketing Group, Inc.
Image of Sweepstakes Clearinghouse logo Image of letter header

“Congratulations First_Name Last_Name:

“PLEASE READ THIS LETTER CAREFULLY, AS YOU HAVE BEEN ISSUED $410.00 CREDIT VOUCHERS.

“This letter is to inform you that you have been issued three (3) $410.00 credit vouchers in the TEN MILLION DOLLAR SWEEPSTAKES CLEARINGHOUSE GIVEAWAY.

“Accordingly, this is an official notice and the following information is true:

“1. The attached credit vouchers are_yoursYour credit voucher(s) may be applied toward your choice(s) of any of the quality name brand products featured in the enclosed catalog brochures. You may claim a maximum of up to 3 items only.

“2. To take advantage of your credit vouchers: Simply fill out the attached Claim Form. The remaining balance may be paid by personal check or money order, MasterCard®, Visa® or the Discover® Card. Like many of our credit voucher recipients, you may prefer to use our INTEREST-FREE LAY-A-WAY plan by paying only $10 down and $10 or more per month per item ($25 per item if the remaining balance due is over $200).

“Please note - your credit vouchers are personalized with your name on them. They are extremely valuable and are for your usage only. Please note that they expire on JANUARY 16, 2013, and in order to take advantage of your credit voucher(s) you must return them by that date.

“Be advised that the claim deadline is subject to our strict grace period. So be sure to return your credit voucher(s) in the enclosed return envelope immediately.

“Again, congratulations First_Name Last_Name! Credit Vouchers like these have the power to dramatically change people’s lives.

“We are sincerely happy to pass on this wonderful news to you.”

Image of Sweepstakes Clearinghouse claim form

You say you don’t remember entering any contest that would have offered these prizes? Well, it was only a “TEN MILLION DOLLAR SWEEPSTAKES”, that would be easily forgot... Or, perhaps you may be thinking of a Publishers Clearing House Sweepstake? Still, the first red flag should be that this may not be what it seems if you have no memory of entering any sweepstakes!

A second red flag is the deadline for using these “vouchers.” The mailing I got was postmarked Dec. 22, 2012. It was sent third-class, so it was not delivered until approximately two and a half weeks before they expire. This is the normal behavior of most SCAMmers; always attempt to get the recipient to make a decision with as little time to investigate as possible.

Please be aware that you will be charged for “shipping and handling.” It is stated in the fine print at the bottom of the Claim Form. But you will have no way of knowing how much these costs will be, of course. Most reputable companies provide a way to compute those costs or print an estimated amount on their mailings. I’d call this a third red flag!

Let’s take a closer look at what these three vouchers are really worth. Have you looked at the 24, full-color illustrations of the items you can use these vouchers to buy? Two dozen items ranging from a recliner to a bedroom suite, exercise equipment from a pair of bicycles to an “elliptical”, a 1,500 piece toolkit, a 3300 Watt electric generator, a digital camcorder, a men’s AND a ladies gold watch set. It’s a quite large list and range of items. You might have to travel to several stores assuming there would be enough to stock all those items! On the other hand would you really want to even buy any of these items? We’ll take a closer look at some of them in the following pages. I think you’ll find most of them are not worth the paper advertising them!

Select one of the small images below to see a larger version and any information I was able to find on it.

Image of luggage set Image of bike set Image of laptop Image of all-in-one computer Image of printer_and_camera Image of gold watches Image of 42inch TV Image of security system Image of 5-in-1 cordless tool Image of 1,501 tool set Image of 3300 Watt generator
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