Beware of Travel Scams

When it comes to official looking documents received in the mail I typically think of checks, bills, or important information from government agencies.  What I received in the mail got me thinking ‘beware of travel scams’.  Yesterday I received a very official looking form letter and check from a company called US Airlines. The check was a voucher for $1,298 and marked to be paid to US Airlines on my behalf to purchase travel certificates. The letter said they tried to contact me several times but the number on the check is not one I recognized.

The hair on my neck stood up a bit and I got that funny feeling in the recesses of my brain that said, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” I didn’t recall having entered any giveaway or answered any survey that would have resulted in this “prize” so I did some more examination of the document and then some research on the internet. There was no return address, no representatives name on the letter like a president, CEO or manager, no indication of how and to what number they tried contacting me.

The only identifiable information on the check and letter was

  • the name US Airlines (perhaps trying to make you believe this is from US Airways), 
  • another company name where the banks name usually is called Travel Union, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, 
  • the phone number 1-866-955-1930 (please don’t call it), 
  • and the signature on the check of Sue Hall. 
  • The routing numbers at the bottom of the “check” were completely bogus with symbols that looked like zeros and even when you took them out the length of the routing number was not correct.
Why am I sharing this with you?  Because I want you to beware of travel scams (and other scams) and keep your eyes open.  After my research on the name Travel Union and vouchers for US Airlines I found articles in Fodors and Ripoff Report about the scam or bait and switch tactic that this ‘company’ is using to get unsuspecting travelers.  In one article they said calling the number leads to a travel company selling memberships to a travel club that cost $7000!  In the past I’ve come across things like this before where they may have your address but not a valid phone number and if you are on the Federal DO NOT CALL list like I am they are legally not allowed to call you. BUT if you call them then that is tantamount to giving them permission to keep calling you back.  So like I said before WHATEVER YOU DO – DO NOT CALL THAT NUMBER.  I only add it here for informational and warning purposes.  I will not be calling and after this is posted I think I might turn this piece of mail over to the Postmaster General and file a complaint with the FTC.  Also, you can file complaints with the BBB as well if you are faced with scam mail or email.
Please read these posts on the Fodors air travel community of experiences of others who have gotten similar vouchers and some have called an attended their marketing ‘seminars’.  Notice that the one experience of one who went to the seminar turned out to be a pyramid scheme and the company is under investigation in Delaware.  The voucher I received was not issued by the same company name, but as noted they have changed their names several times so it is possible to be the same one.

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