US Airlines free tickets scam

Have you received a letter from US Airlines (or United Airways) claiming that you've won 2 roundtrip airline tickets? Congratulations! You've been targeted by scammers.

September 14, 2013 Have you received a letter from US Airlines (or United Airways) claiming that you’ve won 2 roundtrip airline tickets? Congratulations! You’ve been targeted by scammers.

Naturally, there are no free airline tickets, which should be obvious, as US Airlines doesn’t exist. There is a US Airways, based in Phoenix, Arizona (the city from the which letters are mailed), which has posted the following notice on its Web site:

Customers have reported receiving fraudulent letters and postcards claiming to be from a company called US Airlines and offering free airline tickets. Do not call the number or give anyone your personal information. Be sure to report it to the Better Business Bureau or your local authorities.

The US Airlines scam letters read as follows:

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 $1,229.00. 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 today.

Some reports indicate that this is a phishing scam that the scammers are out to collect personal and financial information. Other reports indicate that the scammers try to get callers to attend a sales presentation, during which they pressure attendees to purchase memberships in a travel club that offers discounts on travel. Cost of the membership is said to range from $1,500 to $7,000.