I should start off by saying that this scam comes in many varieties but it is the exact same scam.  It is also important to keep in mind that the companies US Airlines and American Airways DO NOT EXIST.  US Airways and American Airlines are the names of the real companies.  They're lying to you from the start.

1.  It starts by a direct mail solicitation.  This could be a hand-addressed letter exclaiming that you qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airplane tickets for anywhere in the U.S. for up to $1400.
It will look a lot like this:

February 18, 2012
Your Name
Your Address
NOTE: You must respond no later than February 29, 2012.
Dear Briana,
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 $1,400.00. 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 me today at 1-866-540-8432.
Hand Written Signature to look real
Kelly Mane
Vice President

Or it could be sent as a travel check voucher that will look a lot like this:

2.  Now, the next step will prompt you to call in to redeem this generous gift.  I should caution you to not do this, not even to hassle the employees.  When you call in, they will ask you for your claim number.  As soon as you provide your unique claim number, they will be able to link your phone number to your name and address.  So why is that bad?

  • They can sell that information to other telemarketing companies for a large profit.
  • You have just passively authorized them to call you back whenever they please (and for whatever future scam they start) because you initiated contact.  This is how the DNC list works.
  • They WILL NOT remove your name from any mailing list.

3.  Should you call in, a sales representative will answer the phone, ask for the claim number, then run through a pitch about a "new wholesale travel agency trying to get their name in the market."  All they want is for you to come in and spend 90 minutes of your time and they just hope that you use them next time.  They then try to extort additional information out of you including age, marital status, email address, and even income!  This is just more information that they can sell!

4. Next, the sales rep will try to set up a 90-minute presentation at a "showroom" for you.  This could be a physical location such as:
  • 11130 Jollyville Road Suite 303
    Austin, TX
or it could be located in any one of various hotels.  Setting up an appointment, even if you have no intention of attending will lead to constant HARASSMENT CALLS.

5. If you REALLY don't care about wasting your time or giving out your private financial information (Oh yeah, did I mention that you need a credit card?), you will be in for a very rough 90 minutes.  If you are told that the presentation usually runs for 60 minutes, do NOT believe it.  And be prepared to be peppered with questions about your finances, personal life, vacations, etc.  They will be selling (and very hard) their vacation club packages all of which cost in the thousands of dollars.  No wonder they care about that major credit card.

6.  Should you ultimately attend the presentation and receive a "temporary" voucher, it becomes obvious that you will have to jump through 100 different hoops.  They will ask you to send in a $5 processing fee.  Fast forward 6 more weeks and you will have the "real voucher".  Send that in (it will be an even $50/each, so not really "taxes") and VOILA! you just lost $105 and approximately 6 hours of your life dealing with this entire ordeal.  You will not receive the tickets and the customer service number that you were given will have been disconnected.  You just lost your time and your money.

7.  And now the reveal.  The company behind this scheme is Market Development Partners
 and they are located at both:
  • 2601 N. 3rd St.  Suite 301
    Phoenix, Arizona 85004
  • 1601 N. 7th St.  Suite 210
    Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Feel FREE to contact the BBB.  Also, since they are constantly updating their scheme, feel free to post some comments so that other readers can benefit.