NBC - The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning against a letter that could arrive in your mail soon.
The letter includes 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,” said Laura Hooker, a woman who received a letter. “And it said, ‘thought you’d be interested, J.’ and just a ‘J’ signed on it.’”
It looked like it was from a friend, so Hooker read the article.
It’s very detailed,” Valeria Hooker, Laura’s daughter said. “She says her mom was disturbed by the story that ended up trying to sell a book about a women’s financial security.”
Somebody did send the letter, 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,” said Eva Velasquez, of the Better Business Bureau.
The ad is junk mail, created by a marketing company to look like it’s from a friend, but only meant to trick people into getting into their business. The technique has been in practice for more than 10 years.
“I spent a good few minutes trying to figure out who is J? And why did they send this to me,” Laura said.
The Better Business Bureau said it’s not a good way to send an advertisement because people generally feel deceived when they figure out their friend did not send the article. They also noted they don’t believe the practice to be illegal, but may be considered an unethical way to drum up business.
“I would not want to do business with them,” Laura said. “I don’t think they should be allowed to do business that way.”
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