It's scammy letter day!

It must be my birthday or something for, in opening up all the mail that came while I was away in the office in California (my wife doesn't open junk mail or bills), I came across two letters that are deceitful to the nth degree and borderline scams in my opinion.

Ooh, let's see!


The first is from Internet Corporation Listing Service, ICLS. Man, this is a doozy: it looks like a bill, and just like a bill, it has a tear-off portion at the bottom so you can mail in your check (no ability to use credit cards, notice — I'll bet it's to reduce the buyer's remorse, should anyone actually take them up on it), and just like a subscription invoice, you can save money by opting for 2 or 5 years.

But looks can deceive, and this one does. It's a solicitation for some, frankly, dubious services. And what might they be? "Submission of your domain name to 25 major search engines" (quick check: uh huh, 96% of search engine hits for the past month come from Google for — that makes ONE major search engine, and the rest are noise). "Quarterly search engine position and ranking reports". Wow, I suppose if you're psychologically incapable and break out in hives when you sign up for the free Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools and get daily reports, including a look at all keywords used to get to your site, it must be really worth the $35 worth of "quarterly reports".

Equally frankly, it doesn't really try to solicit any business whatsoever. If this was such a valuable service, where are the examples of what you get? What "25 major search engines" are they talking about? You have to really try hard not to get on Google. You know, such as putting your web site behind a firewall, or making your readers log in to see anything. How about the "we guarantee an uptick of x%"? Nah, that would actually hold their feet to the fire for their $35.

And, to be honest, they really can't be that good if, when you search for their name on Google, it's not their website that's top of the list. Huh, big red "we are inept" flag right there.

No, the entire purpose of the letter is to hope that someone just pays the bill. Er, sorry, I meant to say "accept the solicitation and purchase the services".

Quite bluntly, any company that trawls the WHOIS database to for names and addresses to spam with snail mail in the hopes of a quick forgetful buck (this letter was for a site that I happen to host and own, but don't maintain) deserves the middle finger.

AutoWarrantyLetter Onto the second. It's the old "your vehicle warranty is about to expire" scam. Oh, how I missed getting these after I wrote about the postcard. Never fear, they're back, and this time they have car makes.Oh, sigh.

Where to even begin with this? Oh, I don't know, let's start with the dropping of the name US Fidelis. If you go to their website and see the logo you'll vomit. It's a friggin' halo over the "US". And "Fidelis"? Both are triggering feelings of goodness, loyalty, fidelity, trust, etc. As I said, enough to make you toss your cookies. And I love that the letter doesn't replicate the logo, but instead opts for the naff car image. So, are they a subsidiary of US Fidelis (which seems to have it's own image problems)? The phone numbers aren't the same for sure. Or are the senders of this letter appropriating the tainted name and faking the association? Who knows or cares.

No address, either. About par for the course.

I just love the crap about "we can only authorize your vehicle for 72 hours from the receipt of this notice". When did I receive this letter? When do they think I received this letter — especially around Christmas time when the mail is a bit messed up anyway. And, "vehicle"? Dudes, you know that I have an Audi A3, so why not say, you know, "car"? Oooh. Furthermore you know I have a 2007 Audi A3. Do you think that Audi is such a crappy manufacturer that they have super short warranties and their cars are known for the engine computer going out at a rate of $3,800 to replace?

On the back, in the very small print, there to avoid litigation I suppose, is the telling phrase "not affiliated with any dealer or manufacturer." No shit, Sherlock. Despite the bold italic "Dealer Warranty Division" on the front.

Begone, you poxy scammers. I just wish I knew from what list they found out that I had an Audi A3. 


Now playing:
Orbit, William - Water from a Vine Leaf
(from Strange Cargo III)

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2 Responses

#1 Internet Corporation Listing Service, said...
28-Oct-09 7:43 PM

They're baaaaack! Back last December I got an invoice — er, sorry, a solicitation for services , cunningly disguised as an invoice — from this company for another domain I administer. I wrote it up as a blog post , shredding the invoice, oops, solicitation

#2 Erik said...
12-Apr-12 10:29 AM
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