Read the fine print on contest junk mail

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by Chris Nagus / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 31 at 2:28 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A Missouri company is the target of several complaints from around the world.

The Missouri Attorney General already cracked down on this company once, and now News 4’s Chris Nagus is asking Attorney General Chris Koster if it's time to crack down again.
 
Chris Nagus got calls from multiple St. Louisians who got letters in the mail with what appeared to be a check for $15,000.
 
The letters came from the impressive sounding International Award Payment Center.
 
It is advertised as a contest of skill; asking you to answer a question and enclose a $9 check with your answer.
 
The letters are sent from a building off a Kansas City interstate.  Chris Nagus went there to find out about this contest and why so many people seem confused.  The first employee he ran into there said he needed to “call our lawyers.”
 
That worker then climbed up to the building’s roof and yelled down at Chris Nagus to “get off our property!’  The company later called the police to make sure our News 4 crew left the property.
 
The Kansas City Better Business Bureau is well aware of the mailer and the company that sends it: Opportunities Unlimited.  They get calls about the company daily.  Their representative tells News 4 “it is clear that it's misleading for sure.”  The BBB says the business has been around since the 1970's and in all that time, the company has only confirmed three actual winners.
 
The Missouri Attorney General issued a consent judgment against Opportunities Unlimited in 2005.  The judgment ordered the company to no longer send contestants anything that resembles a simulated check, not to send it in something that looks special delivery and not to use bar codes to make it look official.
 
The Missouri Attorney General wouldn't comment on the company this time around.
But they seemed really interested in what Chris Nagus found and asked him to send them a copy of the letter from the International Award Payment Center.
 
An attorney for the company told Chris Nagus he wouldn't normally waste his time replying to someone like him, but decided to make an exception since Chris Nagus was asking the Attorney General about it.
 
The attorney claimed the letter looks nothing like a simulated check and that the rush delivery envelope was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service.
He also said that the computer tracked bar code just means it's really computer tracked.
 
That lawyer also said if a prospective customer is confused they didn't read the promotion correctly.
If you received this mailer and found it confusing, or want News 4’s Chris Nagus to know about a potential scam, rip-off or government waste let him know on his KMOV Facebook page.


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