Possible mail scam targeting people to look like its from a friend

A letter could be headed to your mailbox that claims to be from a friend. But before you open the envelope, we have a warning for you.

"They got my attention, they definitely got my attention," says Laura Hooker who received a letter.

Laura Hooker is talking about this letter she got in the mail. A letter than included a clipping from a newspaper, and a message written out on a post it note.

"And I pulled out an article with a post it note on it that was hand written that had my name on it, and it said, "thought you'd be interested, J." says Hooker. And just a "J" signed on it."

It looked like it was from a friend, so Laura read the article.

"It's very detailed,” explains Valeria Hooker Laura’s Daughter. “A woman goes to sleep with her husband, wakes up in the morning and goes to kiss him and find out that he's dead."

Valeria says her mom was disturbed by the story that ended up trying to sell a book about women's financial security.

"I thought somebody actually sent this to me," says Laura.

Somebody did send it, but it wasn't a friend.

"It's a little misleading because you feel that someone actually thinks this product or service is something you'd be interested in but it really is just a solicitation for business," says Eva Velasquez of the Better Business Bureau.

It's a fancy ad, junk mail, created by a marketing company to look like it's from a friend, but only meant to trick people into getting their business. We've seen the same technique landing in mail boxes for more than 10 years.

It looks legit because it really is a post it note and it really is handwritten.

"I spent a good few minutes trying to figure out who is J?” says Laura. “And why did they send this to me?"

"It's probably not the best way to market your goods or services because people feel a little deceived when they figure out that their buddy John or Joe didn't send this article over to them," explains Velasquez.

The Better Business Bureau doesn't think it's illegal but might be considered an unethical way to drum up business.

"I would not want to do business with them,” says Laura. “I don't think they should be allowed to do business that way."

Until this type of advertising is regulated, you'll just have to keep a skeptical eye on your mailbox. The letters and articles could be trying to sell anything from weight loss pills to government loans.


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