Yesterday, my husband brought the mail in and there was a strange envelope addressed to me. It was the kind of envelope that looks like a paycheck... or maybe something from the IRS. To open it, I had to detach the perforated tabs on either side and unfold the letter.
The letter said, basically, that I had "won" two round trip tickets to any destination in the continental United States. The letter said that "U.S. Airlines" had tried to contact me several times without success. To claim the prize, I had to call a number, or else lose my tickets to an "alternate". I was immediately suspicious, especially when I saw the words "U.S. Airlines" in the letter. There is no such airline.
I went online to see who else had gotten this phony scam of a letter and found that several blogs had been written about it. It was also addressed on Fodors.com. Apparently, people call the number and talk to an operator, who tells them that in order to pick up the prize, they have to attend some "meet and greet" in a nearby city. It runs for 60-90 minutes. Even those people who agreed to hear the spiel have said that the meet and greets end up being cancelled. Others who have gotten hooked up with the shady company that sends out these letters have said that it turned out to be a scam... sort of like DirectBuy, but for travel instead. The people want you to drop several thousand dollars on a time share or travel club, which turns out to be worthless.
So, I'm going to add my voice to the mix and say that if you get some strange letter in the mail that says you won plane tickets on "U.S. Airlines", you should probably just toss it. Or maybe supplement your toilet paper supply.
For those who want to do more research, check out this link... All these people got the same letter I did.