I have recently been exposed to a number of catalogue marketing scams, which have their origins in La Belle France. The company in question is called Mail Concept Plus, and they peddle their wares through post boxes in both England and Scotland.
The scam offers a substantial cash prize if the player fills out the relevant form and answers a multiple choice question, which is very straightforward. For example, does honey comes from: A: Bees; B: Bats; or C: Chickens? Doh!
So far, so good! But the purpose of the scam is to persuade the lucky player to purchase goods from the enclosed catalogue. These vary according to the supplier. I have identified four so far, and to assist you in spotting the scams, they come from My Shopping Corner, Vital Nature, Phyderma and Elisa Jewels. No doubt there are others out there.
Although the scammers make it clear (in very small print) that no purchase is required to participate in the prize offer, they make it abundantly clear that a minimum purchase of £30 will speed the delivery of your cash prize, usually within 14 days. And guess what?
A few days later, another letter, with another catalogue and another promise of a cash prize, hits your doormat, and so it goes on until the last syllable of recorded time.
I want to be fair to these scammers, so if anybody reading this article has participated in these promotions and has actually won a substantial cash sum, please get in touch and I will publish a retraction, but I won’t be holding my breath.
For those of you wanting further and better particulars, a duo of journalists from the Mirror group investigated these scams as long ago as 2008, and their results can be found online using this link:
The Mirror Group invited the Office of Fair Trading to take action, but they haven’t, so no surprises there.
These scams show no signs of abating, so forearmed is forewarned. As they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true!