We received a card in the mail from H.S. Marketing Inc., in Arlington, Tex.
The card said we were guaranteed to receive one of the following prizes with absolutely no purchase necessary: a new Chevy Blazer; two fabulous vacations for two; $5,000 cashiers check; men's and ladies' Georgio Monti' diamond watches; $1,000 series EE U.S. savings bond.The notice said this was a valid premium incentive offer. It said a $12.95 shipping and handling fee might apply.
The card told us to call 817-649-7100 Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
I called the company to tell it I would accept the item(s) I had won. The person I spoke with wanted my credit card number, which I refused to give.
The person then told me to send in the $12.95 service charge and the computer would then determine which prize I had won.
This looks like a scheme you might want to check out. It wouldn't take too many customers to send in $12.95 to swell the company's pockets. - L.P., American Fork.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Postal Inspector beat us to it. They initiated legal action against the company, which is also known as GTP Marketing Inc. and Telstar Marketing Network.
On Feb. 21, a U.S. district judge issued a temporary restraining order against the company pending a ruling on a false representation order concerning the way the company promoted its products.
The company sold water purifiers ranging in price from $439 to $469. You became eligible for one of the prizes either by buying a water purifier or by sending in the $12.95 fee.
We decided something was up after we tried calling the company numerous times during the prescribed hours. No one answered the phone.
We then called various government agencies and found out about the restraining order.
We can only caution our readers to remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.