Because if it was called "SCAM Airlines"
you'd probably toss it right away.
I recently received a letter. It said that I "qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip tickets... The retail value of this award is up to $1,298.00."
My address was handwritten on the envelope in blue ink. There was no return address. It was sent from Phoenix, Arizona, with a letterhead that says US Airlines.
I did a search for "US Airlines" and discovered this web page (usairlinesletter, at the conveniently named "usairlinesletter"), which said it is "The Unofficial Site About the Letter from US Airlines".
Usairlinesletter tells me:
Have you recently been the recipient of a letter from US Airlines or any other airline company that offered you free or complimentary tickets?... grab your chance to avail them as it will cost you absolutely nothing.One problem, though. There is no airline called "US Airlines". There is a US Airways airline based out of Arizona, so you might be confused into thinking it's the same, but it's not.
So what's this letter about?
It's deceptive marketing, if not an actual scam. You might receive your airline tickets if you attend a presentation and pay for a travel membership package, or pay them for "fees and taxes."
It's similar to what's called an "advance fee scam", where you must pay a fee before you can get what someone is offering you, whether it's to apply for a job or get the money you supposedly won in a contest.
The usairlinesletter website is an attempt to boost the ranking of a search for "usairlinesletter" to make it look more legitimate.
If you want to search for more info on the internet, search under "us airlines scam". But to save you the trouble, here are the stories of hundreds of people who got a similar letter:
- US Airlines Award Notification...scam? Fodors>>
- US Airlines Scam: Roundtrip Tickets, Travel Anywhere in the Continental U.S. Hubpages>>
- US Airlines Scam For 2 Roundtrip Tickets, The Unemployed Mom>>
- Is this a scam? “US Airlines” is offering me two roundtrip airline tickets, Christopher Elliot>>
What the letter said:
NOTE: You must respond no later than (A DATE WAS HERE)
I am pleased to inform you that you have qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets. Congratulations. These tickets are valid for travel anywhere in the Continental U.S. from any major international airport. The retail value of this award is up to $1,298.00. Certain restrictions apply.
We have attempted contacting you several times without success. This is our last attempt. If we do not hear from you soon, we may need to issue the ticket vouchers to the alternate.
Please call me today at 1-866-353-3242.
(IT WAS SIGNED HERE IN BLUE INK)
NOTE: The similarly named and real airline "US Airways" has also been used in a scam:
The scam involves an email containing a phony itinerary for a flight reservation the recipient never actually made. The email contains a link to “check-in” online for the flight, a fake confirmation code, and flight details. The phishing scam is deceiving because it looks authentic, even including the US Airways logo.
For more info, see this link at the Better Business Bureau: New Phishing Scam Contains Fake US Airways Itinerary>>