Yet Another Email Scam
I received an email today announcing that a defunct magazine that I once edited has won the "2009 Best of Laguna Beach Award" in the graphic arts category.
The magazine - Laguna! Life and People - was not what I would call award winning material. The owner, Ford Design Group, had trouble pumping out issues even when the company was healthy. Add a messy divorce into the mix, a distracted art director, chaotic editorial control (never knew what the owner was going to do next), a kooky production setup … you get the idea. That was nearly three years ago. Katie Ford - the true brains of the Ford group - has gone on to rebuild her business. I'm back to my usual trouble-making. So, imagine my surprise when this weird little out-of-the-blue email showed up.
As it turns out, this is part of a wider nationwide email campaign. The Spokane, WA office of the Better Business Bureau tracked down the source in July 2009 and arrived at a simple conclusion: it's a scam. Aside from the email announcements - which started several months ago - not much else is known about the company, the people or the awarding criteria, or even the recipients. Moreover, from what the BBB says, you really don't want your name on one of their plaques. Seriously. The award designee - the U.S. Commerce Association - is also closely tied to another organization called the U.S. Local Business Association - a business that the BBB office in Washington DC gave an "F" for business practices among other things.
Here's the bottom line - they want you to buy their $189.00 plaque or trophy, and that's pretty much it. Not much else to say than SCAM BEGONE ! Then again, how tempting it is to have a pretty little trophy on my desk, even though I didn't really earn it. Ah... but for the price, I'd just assume paint a rock blue and put it my desk. At least THAT would lead me chuckle from time to time. - HP