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Unclaimed Reward Scams & St Patrick Rabbits

March 17, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile much of what we do is agriculture related, some is just life. This post encompasses one of those. A card came in the mail today notifying me that I had an unclaimed reward of $100 and call a number to verify.

Cheap entertainment – I called. Figuring it’s a scam, I wait to verify my claim. Verified address, reward number, was told I have a certificate good for $100 at anywhere I shop. Where did I shop? “Bill & Sons for groceries. Unless grown here.”

“You don’t shop at like Walmart, Target, Best Buy…?”

“I can if I need something there.”

Then he informed me they were sending the certificate right to my door. It would all be processed and they needed just $1 for processing.

“Wait a minute – so I have a ‘certificate’ for $100 that I can get if I pay you $1?”

Yes.

“Not interested.”

“But it’s $100 for just $1 processing fee.” The desperation was almost tangible.

I couldn’t help myself. “So let me understand this fully. I get a card in the mail to call a phone number – no website, no address, no name of *who you are*. I call the number and you want a credit card for $1 in order to get the reward reserved and in my name?”

“It’s $100!”

I continued “It’s $100 IF it comes and IF it’s something I can actually use. If not and you do this 1,000 times per day, you make $1,000 per day verifying for people to send them a certificate that may or may not be redeemable. Or you charge the card for more than $1 and because I don’t know who you are, who the company is, where you are, etc there’s no chance of…”

“But…”

“OK I tell you what. You send me the certificate. When it arrives if it is what you say it is, I will call you and give you the $1.”

Click.

“Thank you!”

Moral of the story – sometimes it’s good to be suspicious. Guard your identity and card numbers folks. Paying to get a reward or certificate or other thing isn’t ‘winning’ anything.

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