We all learn from a young age not to trust things that are too good to be true. But somewhere along the way, many of us forget this basic tenant for good living. This explains why so many people respond to scam artists on the web, and why it’s so important for you to be aware of what is going on behind the scenes.
One of the most common scams is the promise of free airline tickets and/or a vacation. Often you’ll receive calls, texts, and mailers saying, “YOU WON!” and instructing you on how to follow up and claim your grand prize.
Tons of people respond to these scams which is why they remain so popular to this day. If they didn’t work, people wouldn’t still use them.
An ABC News “Nightline” producer recently received a card in the mail informing them that they won free tickets anywhere in the world. On top of that, they would be getting free hotel fair as well to use at any of thousands of Marriott locations across the globe!
It sounds too good to be true, but the investigative journalists wanted to figure out exactly how this scam works. If you can wrap your head around the scam, you’ll be far better suited to avoid similar ones in the future.
Two employees decided to take the hit and went in for the required “meeting” prior to receiving said free tickets/hotel rooms. What was supposed to be a simple sales pitch turned into a 3-hour marathon of sleazy salespeople slipping in and out of the room, each trying a new pitch to pull in any of the several guests looking for their big grand prize.
The entire thing was just a giant sales funnel, and the salespeople continuously pitched vacation packages in excess of $3-5 thousand!
After all that, the two employees finally received what they had been waiting for – a packet that supposedly contained their free airfare and accommodations for a trip anywhere in the world. But only after insisting for over an hour that they had no intention of purchasing a vacation.
Once they looked in the package, they noticed that they actually had to send in money in order to get the “real” voucher. The news team decided to follow through with the whole thing, so they sent in the $150 “activation form.”
15 days later, another mailer arrived. This time, they assumed there must be something of value for all of their efforts inside. But alas, they were mistaken once again – it was just another solicitation for more cash!
The news team then went back to the Marriot and confronted these sleazeballs. They shared how they went through the sales pitch and even sent in the $50, only to be shown the door once again. She managed to find the Director of PPV Travel, Thorne Greene but he refused to answer her questions honestly.
“It is complimentary, they are free gifts, they are complimentary gifts…” he says without a lick of confidence in his voice. “We give a 90-minute presentation… You were promised gifts from a third-party provider.”
Thorne is unable to clarify exactly why they claim to give out free gifts, when in fact they have no way of verifying that the gifts are given out at all. It is deceptive, false marketing and this company should be forced to shut down ASAP along with all the others like it.
What do you think about deceptive marketing practices like this? Share your thoughts in the comments!