A scam in New Jersey that just won’t go away is making headlines again. Gloucester officials are reporting a resurgence of a mailing scam that offers $1,350 for “two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. from any major international U.S. airport”. Too good to be true? As usual, it is.
The Travel Union and Airline That Don’t Exist
A Gloucester County resident reported receiving a letter claiming to offer $1,350 in exchange for airline tickets. The letter urges the recipient to act quickly — “Flights fill quickly. Call now to see if you qualify.” The origin of the letter is Travel Union of Scottsdale, Arizona – a company that doesn’t exist. Another company stamped on the check and offer — US Airlines — doesn’t exist either. Yet the name is familiar enough to have fooled some recipients into redeeming the “offer”.
Lyman Barnes, Gloucest County freeholder, claims the letter looks legit initially.
“It makes it look like it is either US Air or American Airlines. It actually says ‘US Airlines’, which is not a real airline carrier”.
While the name might be convincing at first glance, a bit of research should ring the “scam alert” bells in your head. And the scam doesn’t stop there.
Offer Claims One Thing, Steals Another
NJ.com is reporting residents have been scammed into reveal personal information in the phishing scheme.
Phishing is a method by which a thief tries to obtain user names, passwords or credit card information from victims by posing as a legitimate business or organization.”
Should recipients of the offer follow through with the instructions, they are deceived into giving up valuable personal information which opens up the possibility of identity theft and fraud. Others who have followed through in search of vacation getaways and cruises claimed to be “available for a limited time” are left with an equally menacing headache.
Some people who have called are asked to attend a travel club presentation with a membership fee of several thousand dollars, Fodor’s Travel Intelligence says.”
While we doubt that this is the last we hear of this scam, it’s wise to keep an eye out for offers like this. As always, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Always research companies and offers. If it’s a scam, a few minutes of research should be all that it takes to uncover.
Let Us Know What You Think!
Have you heard of similar scams? Received a compelling offer from US Airways and Travel Union? Let us know in the comments section and don’t forget to report your complaints!