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Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose - The Adventure of the Final Badger

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December 22nd, 2012

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01:41 pm - Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
Now this is a type of scam that I haven't received in a long time. In the post (yes, some scammers are still using snail mail), I received a letter from a company called Vital Nature telling me that I have won a cash prize of £40,000.

If you are told that you have won a competition you did not even enter, it is a scam.

Vital Nature is a company investigated by by the OFT and The Mirror newspaper. In the past they have traded as Vital Beauty before they were caught out back in 2008. Multiple name changes in such a short period of time should send alarm bells ringing. 
The format is simple. The recipient is told that he has won a cash prize and in order to claim it, the recipient needs to buy some cheap tat from a catalogue. You keep buying and buying but the money never arrives. 

The contents of the catalogue are the sort of things you would expect from a company with such a hippyish name. Creams, lotions, copper bracelets, therapeutic magnets and all other things that fly in the face of reason or indeed, all physical laws. Their target audience appears to be on the border line between special needs and Special Brew. We can safely bracket this junk as integrative medicine, which used to be called complementary and alternative medicine, which again used to be called alternative medicine, and that used to be called health fraud.

So anyway, I bet you are waiting to hear about what I did with the junk mail. Are you? You should be, because this is what you can do if the junk mailing like this supplies a pre-paid envelope. Shred the entire junk mail including the envelope it came in and pop the shreddings inside the pre-paid envelope. Don't worry if the envelope bulges out and becomes too heavy for the postage already paid. It is the junk mail peddler, not you that has to pay any excess on the postage cost. If everyone did this, perhaps these companies might even go out of business.

Now, I have often written in the past about these frauds and have poked fun out of them without writing much about their victims. Well, if you head over t http://www.thinkjessica.com/main.htm, you will see that these scammers have real victims with real lives with  real tragedies. If you want to feel depressed, impotent then so fucking furious that you will punch the next person who say caveat emptor have a look at some of the tragic accounts of the victims. Go on, I dare you. 

And on that cheery note, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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