Got a phone call a while back from a company claiming I had won a contest with a prize of an SUV or a cruise. Since that’s not the kind of thing I’d want to win, I was immediately suspicious. The fact that they had fake caller ID info didn’t help. I told them I was pretty certain I hadn’t entered any such contest, and if they thought otherwise they could send me some info in the mail.
They called back a few minutes later, and someone claiming to be the manager of the previous caller tried to engage me in conversation again. I repeated, more firmly, that I wasn’t going to talk to a company with fake caller ID information trying to interest me in collecting the prize from a contest I hadn’t entered. I also pointed out that we’re on the do not call list (both the national one and the Texas one), so they were calling illegally.
They called back a third time after I hung up. I recognized the fake caller ID and ignored it.
Today I got a "letter" designed to look like a couple of boarding passes plus a prize notification about my SUV and/or cruise. It claims to be from "AVC Travel". A little Google research shows that AVC Travel = Awards Verification Center = a timeshare company. Google Awards Verification Center and you’ll find plenty of information. They have hundreds of BBB complaints lodged about them, and the BBB’s articles about the company warn against doing business with them.
Their addresses include 2400 W Pioneer Pkwy in Arlington TX, and 1221 River Bend in Dallas TX. They’ve also operated offices out of San Antonio in the past. They’ve been running the same business for years. They used to send dubious looking postcards, but these new mailings are much slicker and more convincing. It surprises me that they can get away with outright lying that the reader has won a prize worth "a minimum of $1,295", simply by adding the weasel words "Certain restrictions apply" in small print at the bottom of the letter.
While I don’t normally write up every scam attempt that hits my mailbox–who has the time?–these guys are so sleazy and so aggressive on the phone that I think their antics deserve some more Google visibility.
Note that there is another company called America’s Vacation Center, who also go by the initials AVC. I imagine they’re not too pleased that crooks are now using their name.