Thursday, February 16, 2006

Awards Verification Center's Fishy Letters

I have recently received numerous letters from Awards Verification Center, 2400 W. Pioneer Pkwy, Suite 210, Arlington, TX 76013, with toll free numbers 1-800-239-9259, and 1-888-438-9492, informing me that I am an "official prizewinner" in their new Mercedes, BMW, Porsche or $40,000 cash promotion, and that they have been unable to contact me. They are also offering me a 4-day Royal Caribbean Cruise and a long list of other prizes, shopping sprees and cash rewards. How kind of them! I disregarded the first few letters, but they continued to come, and just yesterday I received a yellow envelope labeled "WESTERN MAILGRAM" addressed to me, which was obviously made to look like it came via Western Union, so it must be important.

I decided to do a little research and found a blurb on the Better Business Bureau's site stating that Awards Verification Center (who also has a long list of other known company names) is a company that "sells and operates vacation timeshares at various resort locations. The company sends letters offering one of several free awards to customers who agree to attend a sales presentation for vacation property." Of particular interest is this company's consumer rap sheet which sums up the company's 154 consumer complaints in the last 36 months. The site states, "Our file experience shows that this company has been the subject of complaints alleging misleading or high pressure selling tactics or dissatisfaction with the free award received at sales presentations. Complaints from timeshare owners primarily allege difficulties cancelling contracts, difficulties making reservations for specific dates, or dissatisfaction with resort services." Other folks have also complained about this company. This was not surprising. One guy even decided to have a little fun with them.

"If you have received an award letter from this company, it does not mean that you have won a contest," the BBB says. They caution that this company (whatever name it's going by) will invite people to its high-pressure sales meetings and offer you a vacation package that includes only daytime use of a facility, with overnight accommodations and transportation excluded. Do not give any personal information, credit card numbers or any other information to these types of solicitors. Basically, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. (Source: BBB)

UPDATE (9/8/06): I received another letter from Awards Verification Center, and this time, when I called them to request they remove me from their mailing list, they insisted I give them my telephone number. I'm positive they do not have my telephone number (BTW, I used Skype to call them), and I wasn't about to give it to them. They refused to remove me from their unsolicited marketing mailing list.

Comments posted below do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Brian Hall. The reader may gain helpful information by reading about the experiences of others posted here.

119 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I just received one of these letters this morning and it did sound to good to be true. I decided to google them, glad I didn't waste time calling them. Thanks Brian.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info i appreciate it

Anonymous said...

I got this stupid little blue letter, and I know that you can't win a contest you didn't enter, but I wanted to see what these people were and what they were about. I googled them and here I am. Thanks so much for doing the legwork!

Anonymous said...

I received a call from these people yesterday, I gave the a run for their money. I told them to bring me the 40k and i would take pictures with them and even do a commercial with them. Needless to say they would not go for it so i told them to take my name off their calling list.

Anonymous said...

Gee Thanks to Google i would of not Have found out about this , all thoe i new it is a come on and i am putting it in the shredder now.
Thanks agin to Googles and this site. so don,t call 1-888-587-7544

Anonymous said...

i recived a letter from the awards varification center about two weeks ago.but it stated i had to contact them within ten days , and did't open it untill yesterday night. my mom said it was a scam but i try to keep a positive frame of mind and called anyways . after talking and setin g up an appointment, i thought i better cheek it out before draging my huband out there . i'm easly fooled but he's not ! he dosen't liked being played with or having his time wasted! i sure am glad i found out becouse having to deal with him would be fare more than a complaint ! but maybe thats what they need , for them to stop !

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Brian. Save me some potential trouble.

Anonymous said...

I got the blue letter today and called. I asked if they were timeshare and they denied it. They offered me some fabulous prizes and I was scheduled for tour. Here I am now after work checking it out. The first google hit I got was The BBB (Better Business Bureau). Believe it or not, I think I'll go. I mean I know what to expect the only thing is that the resort is 1 1/2 hours away. They are offering $40 gas voucher with a minimum $10.00 purchase. I've been a salesman for years and know all the tricks, also I've allready survived one of these in Las Vegas. I got free tickets to 2 shows (nose bleed seat). Yes, I'm that cheap.

Anonymous said...

I knew it was a scam. There is no easy money like this anywhere in the world. I thought I'd do a search on it and here Iam sending a note. Thanks Brian
The power of the WWW

Anonymous said...

Ditto! I'm sick of all this stuff...STOP KILLING TREES MAN! Thanks Brian for posting all this...

Anonymous said...

We recieved a call today from these people, and at the time I told the lady it was just a scam and hung up on her. However when we checked our mail we got one of those stupid, little, blue cards. I thought this must be important. My husband got kind of excited after he examined the signature(he already had the money spent). So I got a little nervous, and I decided to google them. "Here I am". Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I literally just hung up with them. It struck me odd because I can't remember entering any drawing for a Mercedes. I had a sneaky feeling it was a timeshare. Went on one in Orlando and received free accomodations and ticket to Walt Disney World. Long story short the short 1 hour meeting turned into a 3 hour blood pressure raising argument. But if you don't attend the meeting and get a piece of papter signed you have to pay for the accomodations and the Disney tickets. Sorry I can't remember the name of the group. But thank you all very much for the infor

Anonymous said...

i just got one of these today and decided to check out the sender on the internet. thanks for the info. the story about the guy that went and messed with them was too funny.

Anonymous said...

The first time I fell for something from the "Awards Verification Center" was that I'd won a mini-Casio piano - all I had to do was send in $14.95 shipping and handling. The mini-Casio piano that arrived was about 4-1/2" long - could have bought at WalMart, Target, Kmart or even the Dollar Store for $1.99! Ah, we live and learn - too bad the internet wasn't around then! Anything this place sends is a scam.

Anonymous said...

Will someone please tell how to get off the calling list of these vermin? It has turned into harassment, with calls a number of times each day .... and I'/m on the "Do Not Call" list.

Anonymous said...

I almost fell for the little blue card, but something told me to look it up. Thanks for the info I highly appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I love using Yahoo and the internet to research stuff. We received a cute little enticing blue card. Thank you for you post with information regarding the Awards Verification Center. You really saved me a lot of research time.

Anonymous said...

These people are scum bottom dwellers Thanks for wakeing up the idiots ready to bite on the hook. tom jay

Anonymous said...

I just got a blue card today. Anyone want to buy Ocean Front Property in Arizona. Just send $1.99 to 1234 Get a Life. If it sounds to good to be true it probably is.

Anonymous said...

I received a letter from this company today indicating the I had won a prize.It was king of odd because I did not remeber entering a contest for anything recently. I really got excited and scheduled a time with the awards center to make a visit to the resort. Then it hit me at about 11:00 p.m the night before. I went online and googled the company and saw all of these complaints.

Anonymous said...

we just got one today as well in Southern New England - thanks for keeping this post up for thos of us who thought to Google it.

Kim said...

They have been trying to reach my husband for a while now, so finally tonight be husband talk to them. He drilled them with questions, but they kept insisting he would get something out of it. We googled the website they told us to go too and we came upon the BBB, I knew it was fake. They wanted us to drive from MA for a day. Apparently they don'[t realize some of us aren't rich and can't just leave our jobs for this scam.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian, I too just received my letter, but I spend the majority of my day skip-tracing company anyway so I pretty aware this "too good to be true". They listed the phone number of 1-800-544-8431.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting them in Georgia! Thanks for the heads up as I figured it was a gimmick of course, but thought I would look at the web, just to see what might pull up.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love google- Did anyone actually go sit through the sales pitch? I'm curious to know what "prizes" you recieved for sitting through the BS.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I received award notification blue postcards (x4) signed by Susan Murray. It gives a 1-800 number to call and speak to Sandra and Kim. For all I know, there may be cats with names. But one thing is sure: it is most likely be one of those scams. The more people know about it the fewer would be fooled.

Anonymous said...

Got the blue card from Award Verification Center. Knew it was a scam so threw it away. Got several more and threw them away. Started getting calls after 9:00 p.m. and heard nothing but beeps on the line when I answered to ask them to never call again. Calls repeated every 15 minutes for next hour. Filed complaint with FCC because I am on the Do Not Call registry. Encourage everyone to file a complaint with FCC if they call you at www.donotcall.gov

Anonymous said...

Just got their stuff. For whatever it's worth, the back side of the "Free Entry" slip does have a lot of small print about 90 minute time share presentations,and concludes: "This advertisement is being used for the purpose of soliciting timeshare sales...the complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from the sponsor." Maybe there were so many complaint they were forced to make some kind of disclosure...

Anonymous said...

thnx for this i was about to call them my father recived the same letter we were about to call and googled them thanks

Roy said...

Thank you for posting this. I got my blue card "award" on August 26, 2006.

Anonymous said...

i just called the people and the first thing they asked is whether i make 40,000 or more. I was like, if i won something what does what i make have to do with anything. I went along with them and even scheduled an appointment. i decided to google them and i am glad i did. thanks BBB. You saved me a lot.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this information!!! After receiving this blue postcard looking letter, I googled to see if anyone complained or verified it. How the heck did they even get my information? Annoying...

Anonymous said...

Received two blue postcard notifications in the last week-what was clever was the hand-written signature of "Susan Murray" which appears to be hand written...I went to Ask.com and then clicked on this website and saw that the "business" at the "Verification Center," sure enough is totally sleezy...

NGL said...

Hey yall - have to admit I was very excited when I got the call (they've now resorted to calling people) - my husband didn't believe it and I decided to Google first before going any further. Found this website - glad I did. Thanks for all your comments.
NGL

Anonymous said...

You the allegedly aggrieved may have the right to file complaints, as appropriate, using the resources below to as few or as many as you have time…local, state,& federal agencies who usually come round to take action only when inundated with massive numbers of consumer complaints.

If few or no complaints, then an issue is not generally perceived to be a problem.

1. Send/file a consumer complaint with the Conroe City Attorney. Send a complaint, with copy of the electronic Tx AG complaint, to the Conroe City Attorney, Marcus Winberry, 936-522-3030, or email them at admin@cityofconroe.org

2. Send/file a consumer complaint with the Greater Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce 505 West Davis Street/P.O. Box 2347, Conroe, TX 77305, 936-756-6644, or email them at www.conroe.org

3. Send a complaint to the Montgomery County Attorney, David Walker, 207 West Phillips, 1st Floor, Conroe, Texas 77301, Phone: 936-539-7828, Fax: 936-760-6920., or email them at webmaster@co.montgomery.tx.us

4. Send/file an electronic consumer complaint with the Texas State Attorney General's Office of Consumer Complaints, online at: http://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml

5. Send/file an electronic consumer complaint with the US Postal Inspection Service
if you feel you've been victimized in a scheme that involves the U.S. Mail.
Electronic form available at the following website:
www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/MailFraudComplaint.htm

6. Send/file an electronic consumer complaint with the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC). This information is then loaded into the “Electronic Sentinel” secure website for access nationwide by law enforcement. You can reach their public website at: http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/
The electronic consumer complaint form can be reached there or on the FTC website at: https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01
It is good for filing fraud and identify theft complaints.

7. If you were contacted by phone:
a. Register electronically with the nationwide and your state’s “don’t-call list”. It is an effective no cost method for eliminating most telemarketers calls to home or cellphone for a period of five years. Each violation can cost a telemarketer up to $11,000 for calling a registered participant. The nationwide website is at: https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx

b. Register with the State of Texas “don’t call list”. This program is administered by the Texas Public Utility Commission and there is a $2.25 fee for each residential or cell phone registered. Registration website at: http://www.texasnocall.com/

c. If youre already registered with the National “don’t call list” file complaints at: https://www.donotcall.gov/Complain/ComplainCheck.aspx

d. If youre already registered with the Texas “don’t call list” file complaints at: www.puc.state.tx.us/ocp/complaints/secure/nocallform.cfm or call 1-888-735-2988 or write to the PUC – Customer Protection Division, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, TX 78711-3326. Each State violation can be assessed up to $500.

8. Should you have a genuine interest in timeshares in Conroe, beyond the something for nothing free Porsche, Mercedes, or BMW…or just have a day to kill to go have fun with developers like the writer, it is suggested that you consider printing off and being armed with a copy of the State of Texas Timeshare Act, under Chapter 221 of the state Property Code, and the rules relating to the Texas Tmeshare Act under chapter 543, and focus upon questions like…do they have a Timeshare Plan and could you have a copy, and is it registered with the Texas Office of Secretary of State and have all fees been paid and current and all amendments filed and current. You may desire to quote from the code and rules to your timeshare marketer the violations, complaints, and disciplinary proceedings sections under chapter 543, as well as the additional section on violations under the Title 12, section 221 of the Texas Timeshare Act, Chapter 221.071 Deceptive Trade Practices, www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/rules/TimeshareAct-200601/pdf .

File/send a complaint to the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), at www.trec.state.tx.us, or call 1-800-250-TREC (8732).

9. Lastly, contact the TV/Radio "action" hotlines to complain for investigation of these type companies. Ole Marvin Zindler is one...all the major local stations have them...

While all of the info is believed to be current...you are urged to visit the websites for any changes regarding consumer complaint filings.

Hope this may be of some benefit...
Concerned citizen

Good luck...

Roy said...

A new twist to the "blue card"
Today I received a letter that says Official Prizewinner Notification. It states that I have won one of the four prizes above. There is seven prizes listed. New Mercedes Benz M-Class, BMW X5 or Porsche-value $49,000.00, $40,000.00 cash, or a $1500 shopping spree, or a 5-day-4-night Exotic Island-$806 value or $500.00 cash.
It also says I am guaranteed a four day cruise, two night and plane fare for two to Orlando or Las Vegas in addition to one of the four above ETC
Signed Susan Murray, Awards director. Call 1-888-383-7151 within 72 hours.
Expires 21 days from postmark. There is no postmark on envelope

Roy

Anonymous said...

I got the card too and just for grins I decided to call them. Holy script-reader! The first thing out of this guys hole was, "can you confirm your phone number?" I informed him that I do not give out my number. He then said, "well, we have your number, I just need you to confirm it." I told him again that I would not give my phone number, however, I would make a deal with him. I told him that if he could tell me the first three numbers, I would tell him my last four. He started to get flustered and I could detect some frustration in his voice......."earn your money, scammer!"

Anonymous said...

I too have received the Little Blue Card of False Hopes. A week or two ago I also got one of their letters. I decided to check it out today. Glad I did. Thanks for keeping the 'net informed. :)

- Woody

videoguy said...

Wow!!!! Yippieeee!! I’m a winner too!!!!! Just got my first mailing today (Jan,4,2006). Got to love Google, and all the fine people (like you Brian) who post this stuff on the web.
Thanks,
Larry

anymouse said...

Here it is Jan 14, 2008 and they're still at it. The Phone # has changed, but Susan Murray is still signing the cards. The current #(for comparison purposes) is 1-800-309-8853.

Ares_88x said...

I got the letter in the mail too. Another number they are using is 1-800-238-9720. Thanks for doing taking the time to do the research so the rest of us can safely avoid this. Cheers Mate!

chantalmonchery45 said...

I just recieved a letter from AVC Travel stating I won a cruise. It sounded very fishy so I decided to google it, I found the information you posted about them, and that confirmed my suspicions.You have saved me a lot of headaches. Thank you so much.The tickets and letter will be shredded to pieces.

Jason said...

July 17th, 2008. Just received my "boarding voucher" from Miami to the Bahamas or Galveston to the Mexican Riviera. I've also won the new Mercedes Benz M-Class, BMW X5 or Porches Cayenne - value $49,000 or $40,000 CASH; or the $1,500 shopping spree at Saks fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Macy's, Sears, or Wal-Mart; Or the 5-day/4-night exotic Island adventure - $806 value; or $500 cash. Got all that? lol

Skeptical at best when I saw it and popped it into Google

Boilertech said...

Thanks so much for all these comments and info regarding AVC Travel.In the past i to have recieved the little blue cards, but today was something totally different.Recieved a Letter informing me i had WON as part of their "INSTANT GOLD GIVEAWAY", like the others,it went on to say i had won either a New Mercedes,Or a BMW,Or a Porche,or $40,000.cash or $1,500.00 shopping spree at either,SAKS,Nordstroms,Macy's,Sears Or...LOL...Wal-Marts...or...5 Day/4 Night Exotic Island Adventure Or $500.cash and ontop of that...I Had Won a 4 Day Royal Caribbean Cruise For 2 Or The Mexican Rivera Or i could Choose a "FREE" getaway for 2 to either Orlando Or Vegas for which they sent me a "Passenger & Baggage Check " Voucher....both look so realistic...infact to good to be true as they say...so i googled AVC Travel and Luckily found this site and all of the helpfull comments...i for one will NOT!!! be calling them or doing anything else but throwing them away. Thanks for all the helpfull Info!!!
Don R.

clathi said...

I just received a letter from AVC Travel with authentic looking "Boarding Voucher & Passenger and Baggage Check" for airfare to Las Vegas or Orlando and a cruise to the Mexican Riviera on Royal Caribbean or Princess Cruise Lines. The letter states I have won a "Hybrid Toyota or a Lexus SUV", a shopping spree at Saks, nordstrom, Macy's etc. The thing that baffled me was there was no small (microscopic) print about this scam. this is real rip off and the people are being dishonest in not disclosing that this is a promotion and you need to buy something.

Mosers said...

Wow, Brian, this is thorough! I just got the same letter in the mail, and of course the idea of a free vacation - especially nowadays - is very enticing! But I'm so glad to read through your wonderful post and all these comments. It is going in the trash as I write! Thanks!

sfg94 said...

Well it is february 20, 2009 and myself and another household member both received a letter in the mail today. I noticed they have changed their address. It is now coming from North Richland Hills, Tx. It does not state anywhere on the letter that you have to attend a presentation. It just stated that you are "guaranteed to receive your prize and gift immediately in accordance with your confirmation letter." Maybe after you call the 800-238-9720 and schedule to receive your gift they mail you a "confirmation letter." You may stop future mailings from AVC by contacting them at AVC Travel, 1221 River Bend, Suite 120, Dallas TX 75247 Attn: Do Not Mail Dept.
And here I thought I was fixing to go on a trip!

Keith said...

damn does anyone have any new information? I mean good for you, we all recieved letter but has anyone actually went? I'm going to just to see if I can get these free prizes. Thanks for letting me know that is a sales pitch brian, but for everyone else can you stop with the me too's, I mean come on, who cares if you got letter, we all did!!!
I'll post again after I actually attend the presentation to let people know something new! Sorry if you read my post after reading all the mindless babble.

happytexan said...

I have been getting these letters for a long time now. BUT I always just throw them away. I know better than to think any thing is free. But I had this letter in front of me at the computer and decided to google it and here I am. What I decided to start doing, is to just send their little blue letter back. And any others as I get them. I get a kick out of messing with them too, hehe (life is short-gotta enjoy it)

trots said...

If you get strange, but important looking mail: Look at the postage area. What does it say? Standard Mail = bottom of the barrel lowest cost bulk mail rate. To send Standard mail, it must be many thousands and be substantially identical, and contain no personal correspondence. The USPS won't return it to sender unless the mailer has agreed to pay the reurn postage. The majority of Standard mail doesn't even have any prior agreement to pay return postage in the case of non-delivery. By the looks of it, the sender of the AVS letters doesn't agree to pay the return postage. They're just thrown out (or recycled) at the local PO or somewhere in the mail stream treated as Dead Mail.

trots said...

If you get strange, but important looking mail: Look at the postage area. What does it say? Standard Mail = bottom of the barrel lowest cost bulk mail rate. To send Standard mail, it must be many thousands and be substantially identical, and contain no personal correspondence. The USPS won't return it to sender unless the mailer has agreed to pay the reurn postage. The majority of Standard mail doesn't even have any prior agreement to pay return postage in the case of non-delivery. By the looks of it, the sender of the AVS letters doesn't agree to pay the return postage. They're just thrown out (or recycled) at the local PO or somewhere in the mail stream treated as Dead Mail.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone actually went along with this letter and receive one of the prizes? That's what I want to know.

Anonymous said...

I have not gone, but I think I´m going to just to check it out. The impossibility of the big money prizes is not as impossible as you may think...
I just called and set up an appt. Then I recieved an email with more details about the prizes they offer. BTW they never asked me for any personal info...just confirmed what they already knew.
They don´t just give the big cash or the swee car to you. You have to scratch off 5 of the same(out of 25) specific icons on a scratcher ticket. Yeah...it´s a scratcher ticket like the lottery... That´s very unlikely that anyone could do that. As for the "smaller" prizes...I guess those also depend on what you scratch.
I´m still not sure if it´s a scam or not, but why not go and check it out. I´m going next week. If I get some sort of prize, great! If it turns out to be a scam and I come home empty handed, well then my fault for being too trusting. I´ll let you all know what the end results are...

Anonymous said...

my sis just got one of those sounded too good to be true so i looked it up for her glad i did keep hearing the same thing it's a scam. thanks brian

Anonymous said...

OK well my mom recieved one today and she called them and they told her that yes she won the prizes that are mention in the paper and they told her what day can she go over there to pick her prizes.BTW we're going this next saturday and im ecxited! lol
hope its not a scam!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add my thanks for posting this! Seems like they are sending the exact same letter, from a different address (6321 Blvd. 26, Suite 450, North Richland Hills, TX 76180), three years later. Apparently I am "guaranteed to receive my prize and gift immediately in accordance with my confirmation letter." Thanks to this website, I'm not going to let them have my phone number as well!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this number has show up yet or not, but the one I got today (4.14.10) is 1.800.327.4614 - signed by the ever famous Susan Murray.

Anonymous said...

Just got the little blue post card in the mail today. New phone number on it: 1-800-309-8595. Not going to waste my time after seeing these posts. =)

Anonymous said...

LOL... I knew there was something fishy about this deal, a friend of mine told me that sometimes they do those things to get people arrested for any pending felony or crime, thank you sir for sharing your information. : D

Anonymous said...

NOTHING IS FREE.

IF IT SEEMS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE: IT IS.

FACT.

Anonymous said...

I just received, "You WON the new Mercedes Benz, BMW or Porsche - $49,000 or $49,000 or CASH or the $1,500 Shopping Spree; or a 5-day/4-night Exotic Island Adventure - $8069 value; or $500 cash!" Plah-eee-zzzzz.... as I opened the blue card marked "Boarding Voucher" I thought hmmmm could this be true, but as I read onward I realized the absolute ridiculous statement of "or" you could choose the $500 cash prize as opposed to the Mercedes??? A "Dead - Give Away"!!! Thanks to this site; alternatively, you've saved me a lot of time and headaches! I think they called me stupid - "How Dare They..."

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you... :)

~SC

Anonymous said...

I am from Lawrence,MA I just got one of these letters and it says the same. I got pretty excited and my boyfriend even called them and made an appoiment. The appoiment will be on wednesday 23 but before we go a decided to check in the internet thanks god but what gets me mad is that the appoiment is 2 hours from where i lived so these people dont have a heart or they just love to mess with people's hope.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Keith!!!! Did anybody go to see what would have happended? It's easy to say 'SCAM, SCAM, SCAM' but did you check it out?

To the person who posted this "I got the blue letter today and called. I asked if they were timeshare and they denied it. They offered me some fabulous prizes and I was scheduled for tour. Here I am now after work checking it out. The first google hit I got was The BBB (Better Business Bureau). Believe it or not, I think I'll go. I mean I know what to expect the only thing is that the resort is 1 1/2 hours away. They are offering $40 gas voucher with a minimum $10.00 purchase. I've been a salesman for years and know all the tricks, also I've allready survived one of these in Las Vegas. I got free tickets to 2 shows (nose bleed seat). Yes, I'm that cheap." so are you saying that you actually went and wont the vacation package?

I'm going to check it out and have my own experience then post it like Keith said, we need something new... Someone who actually went and witnessed it.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

and they're still at it... Eastern MA, just got the "Carnival boarding voucher"/"You're a winner!" hooha in the mail. Whoopee. Think we'll pass.

Anonymous said...

Ok so I have to ask.. has anyone gone to the presentation? If you don't buy did you take home a prize as they say you will. I just got the Eastern Mass letter. Interesting that it put in a Carnival line, since I did a Carnival cruise earlier this summer.

Anonymous said...

Gonna give it a shoot without buying a thing. I'm cheap like that. I'll let you guys know how it goes. :-)

Anonymous said...

got a letter today! thanks for the info

Anonymous said...

I got one too, how dare they did these without punishment. The authorities should take actions!!

Anonymous said...

These people get your information from those little contest drawing boxes that you see with a car next to them in the mall, or at other locations. If you ever see one again read the back of the card that you fill out. It clearly states it is for a timeshare program.

Anonymous said...

grasias a dios por permitir a google gue ahora se de estos tramposos malechores gue no pudieron agarrarme de lo gue no soy.

Anonymous said...

estas personas deben estar presas para gue dejen de molestar a las personas,grasias google

Anonymous said...

got my letter for my free cruise and trip to vegas yesterday from avc travel in north richland hills, tx. how stupid are they, for i recieved one about 2 yrs ago and filed a complaint with bbb that time. heading to the trash can now. lol

Anonymous said...

today is feb 25 2011. i dont even live in the states but mail was forwarded to me and i am glad i googled instead of wasting my $ on skype calling them. thanks to all the contributors above.

Anonymous said...

DUHHHHHH!

Siobhan said...

This really is not a scam. It is a place trying to sell you a vacation package that you do NOT have to buy in order to get your prizes. I know this because I just did this last week and walked away with $40 visa card that included my $20 deposit back, also got 6 free water park tickets, and a vacation to the Caribbeans. The downside to the vacation is that you have to pay your airfare there. However I also got a vacation to Florida, Vegas or a Cruise. I chose Florida and it covers airfare and hotel you only have to pay for your food and entertainment. So this is not scam but they do try to get you to buy something but in the end if you tell them you dont want to buy anything after your 90 minute tour you will STILL get your free stuff.

amanda said...

i also just recieved one of the letters for the "award verification center" from susan murrary. i called it and fell for there trap. i gave them my number and my mothers number to contact me.. i got a little suspious and decided to look it up and this is what i find. i dont know what to do from here. i feel like a fool.. can anyone tell me what i need to do they expect me to be in houston tx to claim my "prizes" next week. they said i had to bring my husband.. he wont fall for it.. im glad i seen this before i got to excited. i asked them how i could of won it and they told me that i must have put my name in a drawing at the mall to win a car. i remember doing that but i knew this was to good to be true and i should of went with my gut.. so now i need to know what i need to do in order to get rid of these people.. i feel humilated and played for a fool.. im going to start following my gut. guess i learned my lesson.. so i need an easy way to get rid of these people so any help is greatly needed. thanks. )(thanks to the internet i am aware of this now)

Brian said...

Dear Amanda,

You don't have to show up in Houston to "claim your prizes." Just call them back and tell them that you don't want to show up in Houston. Politely ask them to remove your and your mother's name and personal information from their records and communicate that you do not want to be contacted by them or any affiliated or third party at all in the future, and ask that they not share your information with any other party.

Be safe!

Anonymous said...

I was skeptical at first,but I drove to NRH anyway.I won the car and drove it to the dock to take the cruise to Mexico.While on the ship I met a pretty young lady.She fell in love with me at first site.Turns out she is a rich heiress.The Captain of the ship married us and we now live on our Unicorn ranch in Vermont.

Brian said...

@Anonymous, LOL! :-P

Anonymous said...

They are still out there, I just got one of these letters just a few days ago.

Anonymous said...

just got a letter stateing i won a free trip to a contest i never enter, thank god there is other ppl out there that did the research. i gonna kindly ask them to remove me from there mailing list, thanks guys

chris in IL said...

It's July 31st 2011, n I too just got a Susan Murray letter myself. I had my doubts, but the "guaranteed prize" n " no purchase necessary " did perk me up a bit. My fathers in stage two cancer, and I wanted to believe this, I couldn't think of a better way to treat my dad. I'm so in debt to all of u that have posted about this scam, I don't even want to think of how heartbroken he would have been if I would of told him before I did my research. Thank u all so much. My number was 1-800-309-8595 from N Richland Hills, TX

Anonymous said...

Yup! I won it all too. I've seen these guys before operate on a friend of mine. These are the time share guys and "high-pressure sales" is their game. Do yourself a favor, trash the "winning" notification. "Just going to check it out to see what it is about" is a loosing proposition and the absolute longest 90 minutes that you will ever live through.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Google great? Thanks for confirming my thoughts on receiving the "offer". Couldn't wait to "shred" the contents.

Anonymous said...

wow, i just got one of the letters in, and wow i did look on line and im finding out all of this, thats crayz tho, they said i won a BMW, or a Porsche, or a trip or a cash, wow i was gonna go for it but i just wanted to make sure this was not a scame, and well lucky i did thanks every one for helping change my mind..

Anonymous said...

I got one of those letters the other day. My daughter wanted me to call the number, but I'm really glad I didn't. I'm so glad that I found these posts about this "company" here. Although, $40,000 in cash would be nice, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. I've never been that lucky anyway.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saving me the time of contacting these people.

Anonymous said...

thanks! Brian.
Yours Annonymous.

Anonymous said...

They're STILL at it, as of 1/25/12. The "Instant Gold Giveaway" letter is still signed by the ubiquitous Susan Murray. The tollfree number now is 1-800-327-4614, and the address is 6321 Blvd. 26, Suite 450, North Richard Hills, TX 76180... which is a strip mall. Better off eating at the Pancho's Buffet at that address, and skipping the AVC Travel scam!

Anonymous said...

Well I got my letter today. What a waste of paper. Can't believe they can't be stopped

Karen said...

Just got one today as well. Almost fell for it.. then I decided to google. Some people are seriously shameless.

Anonymous said...

I just got this letter in the mail today and I actually wondered about this one. Usually i'm never fooled AT ALL EVER, but i was recently on a cruise website so I decided to Google it and see. I typed in "boarding voucher from avc travel" and now here i am lol. Glad I followed my gut feeling and listened to my bf... thanks for the info

Anonymous said...

Funny to see how far back this scam goes. Here we are 6 years later, and they are still pulling this nonsense. Silverleaf must really have no shame at all.

Anonymous said...

I just checked my mail and received one of these letters. I thought it was too good to be true and so I decided to Google it. Good thing I did because I wouldn't have found out that it's a scam. Thanks everyone!

Anonymous said...

My fiancee got the same letter 2 weeks ago, he even made an appointment with them, before telling me about it. I told him not to do anything, not to give them any info, and not to
do anything, until I did a little more research on THEM.....thanks everyone, my suspicions were right.... will try to get them to remove my fiancee from their mailing list

Anonymous said...

So this is a Scam it was to good to be true....

Anonymous said...

I just got mine in the mail yesterday as well. I signed up for a drawing back in January at a Bridal Expo. They admitted it was a timeshare thing and they paid for everything but airfare and such. I didn't get a blue voucher/boarding pass but they did send me back my entry form.

Anonymous said...

I think someone should turn this over to a news investigator.Wouldnt it be nice just to expose this company upfront. I almost fell for it, but my gut told me to look it up. Thank God, Im not going to waste my valuable Saturday on this.I would have been extremly upset to find out it is timeshare. Thanks everyone for your input.

Anonymous said...

I got one of these little jewels in the mail today promising the same things as others have posted. Thanks for letting me know about these scammers.

Anonymous said...

Its a scam! scam! do not call the number and do not go to the scheduled appointments. Its all a scam!

Anonymous said...

I guess this is what North Richland Hills wants to be known for?

Anonymous said...

Yes I got one also , yesterday. I had a similiar letter back in Indiana many years ago. You go, they spend forever having you tour the timeshare and trying to sell you. When that is all done they continue to high pressure you. You say NO. They get an attitude but have to give you the prizes. That one was a grill, some t-bones, and a trip but I didn't want the trip. Was young and couldn't afford my own airfare or have any vacation to take it. So the bottom line look at the least prize stated because that is probably what you will be getting. Look at how far you drive and how much time and annoyance you have to sit through. If it isn't worth it to you don't go. I am not going this time. I value my time more now.

Anonymous said...

Got one too. I believed it at first because at the mall I went to , I did fill out a ticket to enter this contest. Received a letter with the ticket I filled out. But afte reading the comments on here I've decided not to even bother. The number given was 1-866-804-8590. I read a few comments here that said they would comeback and let us know what happened when they went to that little meeting. They never did come back and tell what happened lol.

Anonymous said...

wew Thanks for posting the info. i knew something was not right abought receiving this letter...the toll free number this time was 1-800-327-4614

Anonymous said...

Just got my blue card! I feel like I'm part of the club now!! The phone number on mine is 888 291-6607. Another address: 6321 Blvd. 26, Suite 450, North Richland Hills, TX. This is Silverleaf ... tons of complaints. There has to be a way to jam them up...

Anonymous said...

it seems to me that as long as you go threw with it you will win some sort of prize. out of all the people who posted about this, most of you did not go to it. for those who actually went and sat through a boring timeshare you got to go on a great trip that most of us normally wouldnt be able to afford. so the real question is not is it a scam, but if you can last two hours saying no. if you can do it i encourage you to go but if not dont. by the way after i won my 40,000 from them i took my tickets from them and flew to hawaii(spell check) nd had a wonderful time with my girlfriend. so im not saying you have to go, but if you do just bring ear plugs lol. good luck-

Anonymous said...

anonymous: did u actually win 40,000$ or are you being sacastic lol

taytum said...

i knew it was a scam as soon as i read the card. i wanted to see what i could find out about them. this article was written in 2006. it is 2012, and i am still getting these letters!!! how come the FBI can't step in and do something about this shit??

BeenThere said...

Ok, many want a real review, so here goes-
I APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE FOR THE LENGTHY RESPONSE-
Part 1
Tomorrow I will be attending my THIRD presentation..yes..you read that right
1st in 2007, i received the blue card called made appointment, attended the strongarm tactic presentation, was promised 1 of 4(trust me-it is always the island getaway)plus a 2nd gift. silly thing is I received 2 notifications-1 for cruise, 1 for port.dvd player. I sat thru the spiel with a firm NO,..No..No..finally they resigned and turned me over to the gift police..lol..well, they would not give me both cruise and dvd player as I could only redeem 1 notification. I pitched a fit, but in the end decided I wanted to leave with a tangible & took dvd player + my island getaway. dvd player was 7in, worth about $30 at a store like Walgreens(at that time) But a little detail they do not realize: i am retired airline with flight benefits so they don't think many will redeem the island getaway as who is really gonna pay airfare to Hawaii for 2 nights in a 3star hotel? I flew free and collected my island getaway for $50 deposit (who gets 2 nights in HI for 50 bucks?-total trip cost?)
......continued below..

BeenThere said...

..Part 2 continued..
Island getaway is a little hard to manipulate as they have blackouts and such, but with some flexability you can redeem this. I enjoyed my Hawii trip, Hotel was nice in Wakiki, also I forgot to mention at that time I also got a $40 visa card for gas. So not bad for a few hours of saying no.
--Imagine my surprise after moving about 1 year later to see that blue card in my mail again. Well, I had been successful the 1st go around, so what the heck? This time it got a little ugly: I stated at checkin that I had been before- those ppl were shocked! said usually if you had been before you don't get to come back,ha. Well, I took the attitude that I wasn't gonna buy, just give me my prizes, (this time cruise!) uh-huh..they wouldnt have it..sales pressure guy and me got rude with each other, wasted both our time, but they wouldn't have it any other way. he was waiting for me to give up, anyway finally I was allowed to collect. got my island getaway again as well. took about 6-8 months finally got scheduled for the island getaway to Puerto Rico.
..........continued below...

BeenThere said...

........Part 3 continued...
Puerto Rico trip was Nov/2009, and got cruise set up for Sept 2009. Puerto Rico was once again $50 total, free flights, awesome in Old Town San Juan!
Cruise was the downfall as I reeaally wanted to cruise from Galveston, TX but after I told them that, amazingly everything was available BUT from Galveston, HA. well, flew to Mobile and out of there Cruised 5 day/4 nite on Carnival to Cozumel. Now see, this is the bad side: the free cruse cost about $350-$400. port charges/taxes/fees for this&that..yuk. but still i thought a bargain. I said next time I will not mention Galveston, not thinking there would possibly be a NEXT time..today guess what?? blue card in the mail. called and was told cruise from GALVESTON..+ island getaway..i think it is worth it to me (personally) you can read this review and make your own judgements..
really hope this was enlightening and informative for all those that are wondering.
Thanks for reading this long review.

Anonymous said...

I got a blue card in the mail. Called, made an appointment for this weekend. Decided to research before going (duh!) And since I gave them my email address for confirmation, I receive an appointment confirmation email. My response (after this research) is below:

Hello,

I will not be attending Saturday.


Do not contact me or my husband through any method (phone, mail, email or any other method you think of) from this company or any other company.
I have an 8 month old child (no, don't sign me up for "free" baby stuff!), and I work a 60/hr a week job.
You should truly be ashamed of yourself for being affiliated with such a scam.

Two different representatives even told me your company markets this way to gain a good reputation. Tell the guys in charge, its NOT working. Time to try an honest living! After researching further I found the following from the BBA about your offer:
" Of particular interest is this company's consumer rap sheet which sums up the company's 154 consumer complaints in the last 36 months. The site states, "Our file experience shows that this company has been the subject of complaints alleging misleading or high pressure selling tactics or dissatisfaction with the free award received at sales presentations. Complaints from timeshare owners primarily allege difficulties cancelling contracts, difficulties making reservations for specific dates, or dissatisfaction with resort services."

DO NOT CONTACT ME OR MY HUSBAND AGAIN!

A nonny mouse said...

Got the same thing December 2012.
Has "disbursement division" address at 6321 blvd 26 suite 450, north Richland hills, Texas.
Down at the bottom there is another address, 1221 river bend, suite 120, Dallas, tx. 75247.
It says on there in order to not get any more letters, write them at that address "attention Do Not Mail Dept"
If anybody's in the Dallas area and got one of those letters maybe go there in person and tell them to stop.
Or have a friend go there and tell them they are the relative of the recipient, and the recipient passed away :p
Mess with them a little :D

Stephanie Satchell said...

I am glad I decided to google this and found this website cause i was just thinking it is too good to be true...I am so glad that we did not go throught with even giving them a call

DanielC44 said...

Going for it Sunday at 10:00 am I amm a broke 22 year old kid in Fort Worth Texas. I cant even afford what there trying to sell me anyway so there forth I will let you know exactly what happens.

Eric Huang said...

It sounds like the people who went never returned.. . Yikes I don't think I'm going anymore

Jason Draper said...

My wife and i got this letter/phone call aswell. Guaranteeing us atleast 2 prizes. 1 prize was conditional tho. First off they make you go to wherever to pick up these prizes saying they are too valuable to mail.. our pickup was near Chicago. This isnt a scam, but it is a trick to get you to go, in person, and be preasured into a timeshare presentation/sales pitch. One of the prizes is based off if u did their 90min pitch or not. We opted out of the presentation and recieved just the one prize which was an island getaway. 5 different destinations to choose from but, of course, taxes and transportation fees NOT included. Little lame but it`s still a good discount. This isn`t a scam! But be prepared for a timeahare pitch and be resolute in saying no. You'll get your prizes. However disappointing they are

Kesha said...

I just received a letter from this company today. I did enter their drawing in a local mall where I live. There was a young man standing by a car in the mall and I believe the car was a camaro (my daughter insisted we look at the car, because it is her favorite vehicle) Anyway he came up to me and ask me if I would like to enter the drawing for the car, and so I did, but I didn't think anything else about it, because I never win anything. Right away my husband said it was a scam when I received the letter today. He said "You think somebody would really give you $49,000 or a car." I decided to do a search using the phone number in the letter and here I am....I am so glad that I did not call this company. I am contemplating contacting the mall and informing them of people such as this young man running a scam on people. It is definitely too good to be true, because nothing in life is really FREE!

sabu said...

When I went to hurricane harbor, I signed up for a contest says, “sign up to Win your gift" so I wrote down my information dropped it in the box. After 2 weeks i received the exact form from them says I won “something” and the address I got the letter from AVC travel, 6321blvd 26 suite 450 North Richland Hills, TX 76180 and it also says I have to call the silver leaf resorts to claim my prize :D :D :D such as the $$$$ 49,000, free vacation trip or a luxury car :D :D :D).I felt like it’s a scam, so I researched about it online, and I found out some negative reviews
1) Most of them says it’s a scam
2) Few says they won “something.”
Since I signed up for it, I decided to go there because whether I don’t know if it’s a scam or not so I called them, and then they gave me two options either came on
1) Wednesday or Thursday morning at 9 am, 12am or 2 pm
2) They also said I cannot reschedule my appointment  
I asked for their for websites, and this is what they gave to me
1) http://www.awardverificationcenter.com/avc-about-us.htm (I felt like a fake website, but they have some pictures of the winners who won “$49,000”)
2) http://www.silverleafresorts.com/ (seems like a pretty good website)
I went there at 2 at noon
1) The first thing I did was I filled out a form for an appointment and they asked for my driver’s license and credit card,
2) I waited there for 30mintues
3) I had seen many people waiting and filling out their forms (almost 15 people, mostly couples)
4) The agent called out my name and took me to a big hall, and I got surprised because I saw more than 70 people there (oops sales marketing)
5) My agent was talking about her company for a while she asked me to choose one of the 3 options which were the 3 trips to somewhere and all they do is free stay for few days but we have to pay for the airfare and tax which is going to be more than $ 100 I guess
6) When I asked her about the tax she refused to tell me more about it so I said I am not interested in your package so another guy came over and said ” why u don’t want to accept our gifts” blah blah blah
7) When I called them on the phone before I come there they mentioned me about the gift I am going to get which was the complimentary trip and second gift is the scratch off card but when I refused to take the package he did not give me the scratch off card and he was like “since u don’t want our package get out of here”
What I learned
1. It took me 1 hour to get there----Worst day in my life
2. Always read the official rules which we would be at the bottom in really tiny letters
3. It is for sales promotion because when I asked a different agent about it he said even if I get the scratch off card it would only give a discount in the trip and nothing else is I am going to get from there--------
4. Don’t give your credit card number, in my case they only asked for my driving license and also they want to see your credit card to make sure that it has the same name which is on the driver’s license
What I received from them
A cup of coffee + bag of popcorn + kit Kat = :D :D :D :D

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