You can never be too careful I thought as I scanned the letter.
“Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have been randomly selected to receive Two (2) Round-trip Airline Tickets, and a Three (3) day, Two (2) Night Weekday or Weekend Getaway at a Marriott Resort Hotel of your choice. Your Getaway will be booked through Expedia and Air Advisor. As a BONUS Call within 48 hours and you will also receive a $50 Outback Steakhouse gift card. Call toll free 1-(555)-555-5555”
Nowhere does it say the getaway is free. Hmmm. I’ve been fooled before. This is definitely a scam. Yes, I’m pretty sure. Sparky called. The first thing they wanted to know was when and where he wanted to go and then they started with the booking of a flight and hotel reservations. He stopped them and asked how much it was going to cost. Then he hung up. Yeah. Not free. Not even reduced prices.
Then there was the “contest” I didn’t even know I had entered! Seems a local window/door replacement company got my phone number. Could my computer have notified them about my warped front door?? Are they reading my blog?! Anyway they wanted to confirm my registration in the drawing for a free door replacement. I was very wary. But they already had all my info and just wanted me to let them know if I wanted an estimate for new windows as well… I declined the estimate and told them I’d take a new front door if I won but without winning I would hold off for awhile.
Then there was the email to let me know my social security card had been “compromised” and my benefits were in danger of being frozen. Good grief! They never give up. Then there was the phone call telling me that a warrant had been issued for my arrest and to avoid jail I needed to pay up. Not likely. I’m so law abiding that this one made me laugh out loud. I’ve never even gotten a speeding ticket! The latest one was a phone call telling me that my computer had a virus and my personal information was in jeopardy of being stolen – along with all my financial transaction records. All I needed to do was grant them remote access to my computer and pony up some cash and I’d be safe. Oy! I had to break it to them that didn’t own a computer so it was impossible that I was in danger from a computer virus (they lied so I lied back). They hung up quickly!
The last one was the hearing aid advertisement. Now to be clear I can hear pretty well. Sparky not so much… But there have been half a dozen letters sent to me trying to entice me to purchase their specific hearing aids. Each letter has had greater and greater incentives. First it was the free hearing exam. Then they upped the ante with free batteries for 6 months. The letter following touted the free monthly cleaning and adjustment/programming for the hearing aid. By the last letter they were saying that they would increase the warranty from 12 months to 24 months and a 8 week money-back guarantee if I didn’t like them.
I’m guessing that if I dropped off the grid the junk mail, scams and shady operators would still be able to find me. Speaking of which, the gift Sparky bought me for Christmas that hadn’t arrived by the 25th of December, which he then intended to give me for my birthday which didn’t show up in time for that, and had been promised for St. Valentine’s Day but was still MIA, has arrived. He had been in contact several times and they kept promising delivery in 5 weeks more and then he was told it would be another couple of weeks. After the latest conversation to the effect “they are on their way please be patient.”, we were getting the feeling that we’d been ripped-off and the company was a scam. So Sparky called the credit card company and contested the charges. What an ordeal! Anyway 3 days later the gift arrives! I suppose it is like washing the car and that induces a rain shower…