My brother put my name in a fish bowl just outside the Pawn Stars shop when he was in Vegas during the Super Bowel. He claims it had an official History Channel logo on it and everything.
I got this call today, first from a young lady but the call dropped. When I called back, a young man answered and he wasn't sure who had called me--a sign that they are using what's called an "auto-dialer," a computer program for mass calling people.
This was the first sign that something was awry--how many "winners" are there that they need an auto-dialer?
He then asked, "how far into the pitch did she get?" Pitch--another sign. When you're giving away prizes, you're not really "pitching anything."
He starts talking about a free dining card that I'll get through email, and asks me a few questions about myself. I figure, OK they're wrapping a survey into this, not too damning in itself--but then he gets to the $199 security deposit.
I tell him I need to call him back in like 20 minutes--I planned on calling the pawn shop directly to see if this was legit--and he claimed it was "a one-time deal" and that the computer would delete my entry. I pointed out that my call had dropped before, and when I called back he picked up immediately. He said that was "different." I finally convinced him to call me back in 20 minutes.
When I called the pawn shop, he claimed it was a company across town that does tours. I asked him straight up, "so is it a scam?" His answer: "well they are a real company."
Not a great answer for me. A real company doing real scams, is what came to my mind.
I don't know if this guy will ever call back, but I'm not planning on picking up if he does.