Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Scammin' It Up at the Glendale Galleria

On a whim, a few months ago I filled out one of those entry forms at the Glendale Galleria to win a car. (I must have been waiting for Evan and Maria.) I know, in hindsight, pretty foolish to leave my address and phone number on a slip of paper. But since it was a contest officially sanctioned by the Galleria, it couldn't be a complete joke, right?

A couple of weeks later, I got a strange message on the machine, telling us that they had a record of us filling out a form at the Galleria and that we had won... an unspecified prize.

I never returned the call. There was something odd about the message -- it sounded more like a telemarketer's call, and I figured, if I really won something, they'd contact again.

A few days ago, I got an odd call from someone who identified themselves as "Mike from Pacific Monarch" -- and informing me once again that he knew I filled out a slip a few weeks ago while shopping at the Galleria Target. He then told me that I'd won a trip to either Hawai'i or Cancun.

Hmm. My guard is already up. I hadn't even entered for that prize. And this guy sounded shady at best -- throwing a couple of fake laughs in and telling me how excited he was for me.

"All you gotta do is come down to our offices in Encino and listen to a short presentation, and then you can spin the wheel for your prize."

Aha! I quickly Googled "Pacific Monarch" -- and surprise, one of the first listings that popped up was this page on the Ripoff Report website.

A reminder, as always, that things too good to be true are, indeed, not true. And that Google, as always, is your friend.

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