So I won a vacation yesterday.
Or at least that's what they said on the phone Friday night. Apparently I entered a draw (I never do) and they chose my name as the lucky winner. So now all I have to do is come to their office Saturday afternoon and pick it up. Easy right?
Well, being an untrusting fucknut, I ask some questions. "So... I walk into your office and you give me some nice shiny plane tickets?"
"Yes," they reply, "Is that so hard to believe?"
Wrong thing to say, asshole. It sure as hell is.
Upon further questioning, it comes out that I have to sit through a "short, 90-minute presentation" before I receive my free vacation. "But isn't that a small thing to do for a free vacation?" By this time I'm in full defense mode, and do my best to say nothing and get off the phone as soon as possible. I agree to nothing, and say my polite goodbyes.
I did some checking (see here and here) that night, and apparently it's a fairly common scam. The presentation is generally a high-pressure sales pitch for a timeshare or somesuch, and apparently it's very difficult to get out of the place without buying one. You can get the free vacation, but it's a hassle and a half. Classy. They can fuck right off.
So I skip my special meeting, and go biking instead. When I get back, I have two full messages from some fairly disappointed people, worried I won't take advantage of my special opportunity. I've been screening my calls for the day, but I figure I'll have to deal with them eventually. Creative suggestions of ways to tell them to bite my ass are now being entertained.
Some other 'signs of evil' I noticed:
- They called at 5:00 on Friday, and wanted to schedule a meeting for 1:00 the next day. My guess is that's so I can't call the Better Business Bureau or anything.
- They're telling me I'm a very special winner, but in the background I hear several other voices who sound like they're doing the same thing. Gee whiz.
- By the time the phone call's over, I've talked to three different people and received about three different confirmation numbers. What the hell is that? All this to pick up my free vacation?
- To 'confirm my identity', they ask me some pretty personal questions. Am I single? Am I 25 or older? Is my salary above $46k? What is my occupation? Right. That's the kind of stuff I filled out on my 'draw entry'.