BCA recently received a complaint from a senior citizen who received a postcard offering a savings reward to be used at popular retail stores. The postcard claimed a reward for $100 in savings was being held for the recipient, good at “Wal-Mart, Target and many more”. The notice urged the recipient to call a phone number to claim the prize.
When the senior called the toll-free number to redeem the reward, the person on the other end of the call required a payment of $5.95 to process the claim. Fortunately, the consumer realized that this was a scam and did not provide their information. Others have not been so lucky.
Many have been duped by similar offers and have provided their banking information to redeem the supposed “reward”. The scammers may say a small amount is needed to pay processing fees or to enroll in a membership in order to redeem the reward, but those that have provided their financial information never receive the promised reward. Instead, some receive unauthorized charges to their accounts or open themselves up to identity theft fraud.
The postcard BCA’s complainant received contained no information about the sender, not even the name of a business or individual, and no address. BCA warns consumers to avoid responding to unsolicited offers of this type. You should never have to pay a fee to receive a “free” reward. It is never wise to give personal or financial information to anyone you have not checked out thoroughly. If you receive a similar postcard, it’s best to discard it. Make sure to pass the information to others as well so they don’t fall victim to these types of schemes.
To view a sample of the postcard sent to recipients, view complaints, and obtain information on this scam, visit our report, “Notice of Reward Scam”.
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About Business Consumer Alliance
Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.