Just a PSA concerning scams..
Ethan and I went to a festival downtown this past weekend and registered to win an all-inclusive, free 7 day vacation to Orlando, complete with Disney passes and a hotel room. I'm not really sure why we registered, but alas, we did. Both rolling our eyes after the girl wished us luck when we dropped our entries into the bowl.
Fast forward to last night, I get a phone call at 8:35 p.m., kind of late for a random number if you ask me, but I answer it. I get super excited, cheesy car salesman-sounding guy on the other end.
- Hello!!! Is this Katie?!?!
- Yes. Who is this freak calling me this late?
- HI, KATIE!! Guess what?!?! Remember that drawing for the FREEEEEE trip to Orlando you entered, well today's your lucky day, because YOU'VE WON!!!
-Oh, did I. Sure I did..
- Come on, now, KATIE! This is EXCITING news!! How does a FREEEEEE trip to Orlando sound?! Uh-maze-ing, right?!?!
-Yea, pretty amazing. Cue the sarcasm..
Fast forward to "Sidney Ross" from "Resort Tours & Accommodations" telling me to get Ethan and put him on speaker phone with pen and paper.. Sidney is telling us that we've not only won 7 days in Orlando, but also a trip to Daytona Beach and Cancun. All we have to do for this "free" trip is provide transportation to Orlando - ok, easy enough - and we need to pay $498 to "secure" our spot - hold the phone, that ain't free -
This guy was a serious cheese ball the whole phone call. Repeating things like "isn't this exciting?!" and "doesn't that sound great?!" Of course, me and Ethan were 99.9% sure it was a scam, but we played along until the very end when he asked if we'd be using Visa or Mastercard to "secure our reservation."
Once Ethan said no, Mr. Ross promptly hung up on us without even a good bye or good night. How rude. I guess me and Ethan did string him along, making him think we were suckers and would fall for his scam.
So, lessons learned from late night calls from strange men telling you you've won a free trip that you have to pay for right now using a credit card over the phone? Seriously, sirens and flashing lights should be going off right now in your head for those requirements.
Lesson #1 - if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
Lesson #2 - don't ever give your credit card information out over the phone to anybody, free trip or not.
Lesson #3 - free is free, so you shouldn't have to pay $498 to "reserve" your spot.
Lesson #4 - don't sign up for "free" trips at a festival or you'll get late night phone calls from strange men.
As disappointed as a girl can be about not really winning a free trip to Disney, Cancun, and Daytona Beach, I did get a good laugh out of it with Ethan. I had to hold back laughs when we were on speakerphone and we both mimicked Sidney Ross' super annoying, super perky voice for the rest of the night.
Guess this means we'll have to plan a real vacation soon since Mr. Ross got our hopes up ;)