Letter from a VP of Travel Awards Division about free airline tickets

These guys are going bad to their tried-and-true strategy of making up two-name companies and sending letters offering free airline tickets.   (See all other posts here about these letters.) Please comment if you received one with your location.

It tells you that you have qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets. It looks like it was actually signed by Kelly Mane, the “Vice President.” They hand write the address on the envelope and use a real stamp (sometimes!).

Here are the new companies so far:

Fletcher Adams (fletcheradams.com)

Nelson Murphy (nelsonmurphy.com)

Franklin Hobbs (franklinhobbs.com)

Duncan Jacobs (duncanjacobs.com)

Stevenson Barnes (stevensonbarnes.com)

Once you go to the sales pitch and sign up, you book through a fulfillment company. I’ve seen two lately: Universal Travel Vacations (website, BBB report) or the The Vacation Station (website, BBB report TN, BBB report SC)

I have found the answers to this mystery thanks to the great work of the folks at BBB in Tucson, AZ:

http://www.bbb.org/tucson/business-reviews/travel-clubs/southwest-travel-club-in-tucson-az-20007983

http://www.bbb.org/tucson/business-reviews/prize-promotions/patterson-bell-in-tucson-az-20027549

An actual story: http://www.kgun9.com/features/investigations/122887609.html

NEW video from INSIDE THE SALES PRESENTATION: http://www.9news.com/news/article/362984/339/Companies-behind-free-airline-ticket-letters-

Great reporting from WKMG: http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Free-travel-offer-mystifies-consumers/-/1637132/15701330/-/8s7gus/-/index.html

Video from inside the first ever video encounter I’ve seen: http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/Travel-service-vacation-smart-international-us-airlines-vacationanddeals-com-175915611.html?tab=video&c=y

If you would like to read more about these folks, visit this post. You can read all about the sales presentation, the free offer and the what you get for your vacation membership club cash outlay.

LETTER:


I am pleased to inform you that you have qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets. Congratulations. These tickets are valid for travel anywhere in the Continental U.S. The retail value of this award is up to $1,298.00. Certain restrictions apply.

We have attempted contacting you several times without success. This is our last attempt. If we do not hear from you soon, we may need to issue the ticket vouchers to the alternate.

Please call me today at 1-866-517-2406 (numbers always changing).

Regards,

VP du jour (see above)

Vice President

Travel Awards Division


 

 

Here is what would happen if you did call:

ADVICE:

When I read this, it was just too good not to post.  It’s from the Nebraska Attorney General (page 13 printed/page 15 PDF).

Look for the warning signs that may indicate a scam:

  • Benefits sound too good to be true.
  • The company has no permanent address and all presentations are held in rented conference rooms.
  • They can’t, or won’t, provide you with references.
  • They don’t want to give you an itemized list of what’s included in your trip until you have already signed the contract.

What you should do if you suspect a scam:

  • Don’t sign any contract during the travel presentation. They are high-pressure events intended to stir the emotions of an exotic vacation.
  • Contact a respected travel agent in town, give them the specifics of the trip, and ask if that seems  consistent with industry pricing.
  • Shop around. Compare your trip with other travel packages being offered to seniors.

Here is Michigan’s Attorney General’s advice:
http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,1607,7-164-34739_20942-44762–,00.html

276 replies
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  1. Barbie says:

    I just received a letter from “US Airlines” stating pretty much the same as all above. It was signed by “Juli West”, Vice President. All I did was google vice president of US Airlines and it brought me to this site. AIRLINES NEVER GIVE ANYTHING FOR FREE…true give away of this scam.

  2. Janese says:

    I received same American Airlines letter the other day….I called to see what it was about & was told I would have go to a seminar of some sort at the same Orlando address some of you have listed above. I can’t believe people are allowed to do things like this.

  3. Mike says:

    I got this letter, dated 8/26, on 9/11 stating I had to call by 9/12 to receive my vouchers for up to $1229.

    I called, they told me they were booking on behalf of “The Wholesale Travel Agent, Jan Sterling.. spelled like silver” .. offices located [insert address]. Which turns out to be the Embassy Suites address. Claims that this weekend is the last presentation & cannot book after that; must bring ID, spouse & ID, and CC for “verification”

    I’m tempted to go.. just to mess with them and then throw a raging fit if I don’t get my free tickets, lol

  4. Rosie P says:

    Just got this letter today. Looked into it….all the same stuff as everyone posted.
    SCAM!!

    Thanks everyone for posting your experience. It was helpful for me to verify it was a scam.

  5. Laura says:

    I received a second letter that is similar to the one I received some months back. The scam is still running and they tried for a second time to rope me in. I just put it in the circular file and went on with my day.

  6. Dave says:

    Received info from Travelawards for 2 round-trip air tickes up to $1399.00 value to call Joi Edmunds VP at 877-542-7716 by Jan 3rd 2014. No return address on envelope. Mailed from zip code 73125 Oklahoma City OK, December 2013. Permit # 2001. Computer generated label on envelope.

  7. Donna says:

    Received card for same this week
    #1-877-542-6753
    from VP Leann Turner

    Thanks for helping me verify this scam.

  8. M says:

    I received a card with the same info except:
    Phone #877-525-1062
    from VP Edythe Roberts.

    No return address but mailed from a Phoenix, AZ zip code.

  9. T says:

    I received the same card from VP Leeann Turner with phone number 1-877-542-7670

    No return address, but mailed from zip code 85026 – Mesa, AZ.

    Thanks to these posts, it’s going to be fire kindling.

  10. Chris says:

    Received same card from VP Edythe Roberts, phone number 877-517-3793. No return address and I did not look at the post mark.
    I live in central NY.

  11. Carol says:

    Wow, this group is desperate! Nearly two years of doing this crap.
    Received TRAVELAWARDS notice on 1/30 in Chicagoland area from zip code 73125 (Oklahoma City) and no return address with signature from VP Edythe Roberts and Phone # 877-542-7679. They added a claim # and now state NOTE: You must respond no later than February 3rd, 2014. Also value is up to $1,399.

  12. Maurice says:

    Got mine in Philadelphia, also post marked from Oklahoma City, zip code 73125, hand written with no return address and signature from Edythe Roberts Vice President at phone# 1-877-497-1183. I must respond by February 12th, 2014. My tickets are valued at $1,399,

  13. Steve says:

    Got same Travelawards ‘invite’ today; searched internet for marketing sceams or scams – guess what? It is….

  14. JB says:

    I just received one from Alice Campbell customer relation manager 7Feb2014 from the company TravelAwards. I’m in Allentown,Pa the post mark is Arizona. no return address.

  15. Glenn says:

    Just got mine today. It too was from OKC, OK.
    Thought it sounded phony so I googeled it and Presto there it is!
    Thanks!

  16. Joe S says:

    I just received a card today, signed by Edythe Roberts. I immediately googled and found this discussion; I knew it was too good to be true but wanted confirmation. Thanks!!

  17. GG says:

    Easton, Pennsylvania. “Congratulations” card with same text as above. Company: TravelAwards. Signed by Alice Campbell, Customer Relations Manager.

  18. Susie says:

    I just won two tickets valued at $1399.00 to anywhere I want to go. Signed – Regards, Alice Campbell, Vice President of TRAVELAWARDS. Too bad it’s not true, I’d like to get out Illinois and all of this snow!

  19. STAN says:

    Berks County-PA
    Just received my letter today 22FEB2014 – I just won two tickets valued at $1399.00 to anywhere I want to go. Signed – Regards, Alice Campbell, Customer Relations Manager of TRAVELAWARDS.
    These scams really tic me off – so I called – have an appointment for 6pm on 28FEB.

    Think I will open carry when I show up (not the best part of town you know) and see if their tone changes when I insist on receiving my “free” tickets – I’ll update you with how it all turns out!!

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