More mail scam

Here is another classic of its genre. Note the very serious threat in the middle of the envelope. This is totally unnecessary,  it is there simply to intimidate and frighten the receiver.  It also demands on the front of the envelope “to be opened by addressee only.  PEASE RESPOND WITHIN FIVE DAYS”

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So what can be so important? It’s nothing more than a car warranty scam. Importantly,  I don’t even own the car anymore,  it was sold some 7-months ago.  Yet the letter warns me of all the dire consequences of breakdown and unexpected Expenses.

Another clue it’s a scam,  is unlike the norm in the USA of including a return name and address,  the only address present is the paid for address,  no company  name. In fact,  having opened it,  it doesn’t contain the company name anywhere,  unless the company name is “Vehicle Administration Center”.

This is a disgrace, purely to intimidate the elderly and less aware into buying something they don’t need. If it really were a good idea, well priced and useful, it could be packaged up in a much more positive, less threatening way.

Shame on VW Leasing for selling my details to these scam operations. I will not do business with VM Leasing again.

Hate Mail

One thing I’ve grown to hate in my last 9-years in the USA, and increasingly in Austin as I’ve lived at the same address for 7-years, is the scam and fake mail that arrives at regular intervals.

There are those “official” looking envelopes that include seals, official government like crests and demand attention and immediate opening and often a response. I got a letter today from the Worth Finance Corp. They apparently have offices all over central Texas. They at least got my information from Transunion Credit, who pre-screened me.

Right at the top of the letter it says “It’s true, You are holding a real check for $800.00” and goes on empathise with me and my need to be ready for the “expenses the new school year can bring”. Which only goes to show they know absolutely nothing about me.

19895_10151794977230915_1445898368_nThe letter, with attached $800 check, helpfully included pictures of good looking kids. Inside the horror of the letter and the scam is revealed. You can borrow $800, at a staggering 81.26% interest rate.

Which means it will cost you a minimum of $396 in interest almost half of what you borrowed. If you pay everything on time, you’ll pay back $1194. This is total daylight robbery at a time when interest rates are at record lows. The worst you can do from the credit union I use is 9.5% and I consider that 3x what I’d pay, and certainly for much more than $800.

These letters are no more than scams and fishing trips to lure poor, uneducated , the elderly and needy people in America into into doing something they wouldn’t otherwise do. The sorts of information in these letters includes details which are in most civilised societies considered private, like the amount of the mortgage you have on your house; the status of your insurance etc. In many cases the types of information included is not only private, but would be subject to data protection laws in the UK, Germany, France etc. Not just because it is private information, but exactly to stop this sort of high pressure scam and selling which can frighten those who don’t know better.

I would call Transunion at 1-888 567-8688 but took the risk of doing it via the web http://www.optoutprescreen.com – I’m also going to spend some time in the morning tracking down the CEO and send him/her a fake Cease and Desist letter with a fake crest on the envelope.