BBB Warns of Deceptive Marketing Offer for a Free Android Tablet

  
     
September 10, 2012

Columbus, OH – August 23, 2012 – Numerous calls from consumers have alerted the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of a deceptive offer making the rounds in Central Ohio. Consumers are receiving a deceptive, official looking letter offering a free Android Tablet Computer, when in fact; it is an attempt to lure them into purchasing a vacation package.

The letter is from T.J. Johnson and Associates located at PO Box 1588, Whitehouse, TX. The recipient is asked to call an "888" number. When the call is placed, it is answered by "Gifts by Monet". Ultimately, their intent is to sell vacation packages.

Further investigation has revealed the PO Box address is associated with a vacation certificate and voucher company called

CDA Consulting, LLC in Tyler, TX. This company holds a BBB rating of "F" due to having a total of 107 complaints filed against them, failing to respond to 62 of the complaints and having nine complaints labeled as serious.

"This is a telemarketing scam", said Joan Coughlin, BBB spokesperson. "They use deceptive marketing tactics as a hook to lure consumers who then must participate in both the marketing study and promotion, and also will be required to attend a meeting to promote a travel club. Also, there is concern that by calling the phone number on the postcard, consumers’ phone numbers may be shared or sold for future sales calls."

BBB offers the following tips to avoid falling prey to deceptive marketing and vacation or travel scams:

  • Before you contact any suspicious companies, do your research and check with the Better Business Bureau at

www.bbb.org.

  • Ask detailed questions. Including if your information will be shared or sold.
  • Be wary of "great deals" and low-priced offers.
  • Be suspicious of companies that require you to wait at least 60 days before taking your trip.
  • Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
  • Don’t give your credit card number or bank information over the phone without verifying with whom you are doing business.
  • Don’t send money by wire, messenger or overnight mail.
  • Don’t be pressured into buying.
  • If in doubt, say "NO."
  • You may register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and sign up to opt out of unwanted mail through the

    FTC opt out website

    For more consumer tips and news you can trust,

    visit BBB.org.