The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been receiving calls from consumers in the Western Michigan area who are receiving letters offering a free Android tablet computer. The letters offer consumers the tablet computer to keep in exchange for testing the tablet and completing a brief opinion survey. The mailer claims consumers are under no obligation to pay, purchase or subscribe to anything in order to receive the tablet. In reality, the offer is really an attempt to lure consumers into purchasing a vacation package.
The letter is from T.J. Johnson and Associates located at PO Box 1588, Whitehouse, TX. Recipients are instructed to call an "888" number. When the call is placed, it is answered by "Gifts by Monet". Their intent is to sell the consumer a vacation package.
Further BBB investigation revealed the PO Box address is associated with a vacation certificate and voucher company call CDA Consulting
, LLC in Tyler, TX. There is also concern that by calling the phone number in the letter, consumers' phone numbers may be shared or sold for future sales calls."
BBB offers the following tips to avoid falling victim to deceptive marketing and vacation or travel scams:
- Before you contact any suspicious companies, do your research and check with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.
- Ask detailed questions. Including if your information will be shared or sold.
- Be suspicious of companies that require you to wait at least 60 days before taking your trip.
- Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
- Don't give your credit card number or bank information over the phone without verifying with whom you are doing business.
- Don't send money by wire, messenger or overnight mail.
- Don't be pressured into buying anything.
- If in doubt, say "No".
You may register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and sign up to opt out of unwanted mail through the FTC opt out website.
For more consumer tips and news you can trust, visit BBB.org.