About the Amazon Gift Card in Your Mailbox Scam

amazon scratch and match gift card scam-1
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If you receive what appears to be an Amazon gift card in the mail (in your actual mailbox), exhorting you to “scratch and match” and call a number like 855-544-9400 or 855-270-6163 or another 855 number, DON’T DO IT! This scam from “PTL” is a ploy to get your personal details and then get you into a local business where you can be pressured to part with your money.

Scratch & Match Amazon Scam Gift Card in Your Mailbox

amazon scratch and match gift card scam

As you can see by this image of an actual ‘scratch and match’ Amazon gift card scam mailed out and received during the first week of October, 2019, it looks like a real Amazon gift card, and it looks as if it might be legitimate. And, in fact, that’s what they are banking on. That you will think “well, it could be legitimate, after all, they wouldn’t go through the trouble of mailing it if it weren’t legitimate, they would just spam my email, right?”

The psychology of this is interesting: we are so used to spam email scams that we don’t really think about postal mail scams any more, even though of course mail fraud has been around for centuries. In fact, in the late 1600s the UK appointed the first Assistant Solicitor to the General Post Office to deal with mail fraud and related crimes.

So here’s how this Amazon “scratch & match” scam works: Your numbers will match, because the entire point of this scam is to get you to call the number, which goes to a call center, and which will be answered by a telemarketer whose sole job is to get you to visit a local business who has hired this scam outfit to get people to their business.

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The way they will get you to go there is to tell you that you need to go down to the local business who is “sponsoring the promotion” (often a place like a car dealership or timeshare “event” or some other high ticket, high pressure sales product), so that you can compare your number to the number on the prize board at the local location, to see what (ahem..if) you have won.

But first they will get your name, address, email address, telephone number, and whatever other information they can out of you.

Of course, that is as valuable to the telemarketer as your walking in the door is to the local business – maybe even more so because now they have your private information to sell on a list of “guaranteed to respond to promotions like this” individuals.

 

So who is the scummy outfit behind this scammy promotion? Well, the back of the card says that “This promotion is sponsored solely by PTL”, and that is the only indication of who may be behind it.

Back of Amazon Gift Card Scam Mail

About the Amazon Gift Card in Your Mailbox Scam

In fact, the fine print says to “See full Official Rules for additional eligibility restrictions, prize descriptions/restrictions/ARVs” but nowhere does it tell you where to find them. (By the way, ARV usually stands for either antiretroviral, or after repair value, neither of which we think belongs in contest rules.)

amazon scratch and match scam mail

 

Did you receive one of these? If so, let us know, and let us know if you called, and what happened.

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29 thoughts on “About the Amazon Gift Card in Your Mailbox Scam

  1. Received one of these “scratch and match” cards in the mail at our home in Boise today. The only reason I am tempted to call the 855 # is to find out WHICH local business stooped so low as to employ this misleading solicitation. That way, I would be certain to never patronize that local business.

    1. Same here, I’m in Boise and received the same “scratch and match” on Wednesday. I called and found out the business sponsoring this scam is the Hilton Garden Inn, 7699 West Spectrum St., Boise Idaho (208) 376-1000. I actually called the Hilton and they confirmed “Amazon” has reserved 2 conference rooms for this “give away”. I have an appointment at noon on Saturday…. I won’t be there LOL

  2. Received one today (August 17, 2021)

    Looks like they are still in action. I googled PTL. Along with the religious group (PTL Club) scam I found this site.

  3. As far as calling in, same as all of the above. However I was given lots of options to go to a local motel (which was being used by Hennepin County to house homeless for a while). They asked for my text to confirm. They asked if I was married. I said yes, then no. I will go to see who is behind it and to see what commission scheme they have devised to get ice cold leads in the door. This kind of lead-gen is so 1980s. It’s built upon selling people what they would never want unless they were manipulated. I will update after the hotel meeting. They say it only lasts an hour. I have no problem leaving immediately if not sooner once I understand who PTL is, who the “merchant” is – I forgot to mention that the telemarketer positioned the meeting as for a Costco/Sam’s-Club wannabe with better prices that just wanted to show me comparisons. Hmmm. That sounds like Amazon. Hahaha. How ironic!

  4. Got this via USPS on 7-13-2021. Was mailed from Oklahoma City, OK. Called 855-936-3222, was fed the same line as others. Made the appointment, but checked internet using “PTL sweepstakes” and was shown this web site as a result. Thank you for saving my time and privacy!! The popularity of Amazon gift cards is a real draw for the scammers. I’ll beware of future mailings. Thanks again!!

  5. I think Wells Fargo is behind this somehow. I had some troubles with an out of State hotel that over charged me & I decided to enlist the help of Wells Fargo Concierge services since the bill was paid with a Wells Fargo Visa. I had almost no junk mail and no scum bags from Bangladesh calling me. But now, after dealing with Wells Fargo, the telemarketing and junk mail like this won’t stop! I’d sue if I had proof. Sure wish this comment helps someone. There may be a pattern.

  6. My mother received one Today. Unlike me, she hasn’t received a gazillion “scratch-and-win” mailers where, of course, each target just so happens to win. The alleged “win” completely defies the astronomical odds–think Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty when he gets fed up with answering prayers and hits the “yes to all” button, thereby triggering chaos as EVERYONE wins the lottery, thus diminishing the payouts to such a degree that the winners almost owed the lottery rather than being paid by them–by issuing the winning Golden Ticket to EVERYONE. The scam companies usually send the spam en masse on behalf of whatever business might hire them, predominantly car lots. The scam mailers for these invariably come with a blank key attached, allegedly for the purpose of seeing if one’s luck has miraculously taken a positive turn (and it would indeed be truly miraculous, since every key is quite obviously a poorly crafted blank–by the way, these keys serve beautifully for playtime props for age group 7+, so waste not, want not–to carry to the lot) One is then supposed to see if the shoddy key replica will start the engine, usually to the latest high-end sports car that is the most valuable thing on the lot. Apparently, this genre of scams has branches out by pretending to offer Giant prizes, with an Amazon card starting at $5, but climbing “up to $100” as an at least partially believable consolation price. Thank God I noticed it, because my Mom had already started filling out information. Beware of ALL scams, because we tend to forget that before there was the seedy underbelly of internet scams, there was a booming trade conducted through the USPS.

  7. Anything that looks and sounds to good to be true with a phone number n it, I always do a google reverse number look up.
    I can not believe that they can bring a legit company like Amazon into this or any possible scam. This has been going on for years. They change a few words. phone number, and dates. Vulnerable people do not need this especially while the pandemic took so much already.
    I hope a lot people see this and know it is more than junk mail.
    Thank you for letting some people know. I hope it helps someone.

  8. Received one today, googled “is the Amazon Scratch & Match mailer a scam” and here I am! Thank you for saving my time and energy! ?

  9. Thank you for this information. Called today and got a very nice woman to set an appointment for me for tomorrow. Said is was a new company coming to our area, will beat Home Depot, BJ’s, Sam’s and Cost I’d prices. But I’m not going, just to sit and listen to them talk for 1-2 hours, with pressure for a $5.00 Amazon card! Too bad, because she said there would be no money or check asked for at this meeting! Doubt that! But I’m
    Sure we get a 2-3 night stay at their choice of location on their time and date or $5.00 gift card! Thanks for the ‘heads up’.

  10. Got one of these, read the back, looked it hp, found this site and tossed the card. Tonight was trash pickup night and it’s gone for good.

  11. Sounds like a scam. Looks like it is a scam or at the very least something to stay away from. THANKS

  12. Got one as well.

    FYI, ARV stands for actual retail value – common in most contests/sweepstakes that give out prizes.

    1. My husband called the number and was given little information but was guaranteed it a wasn’t a time share so we made an appointment. She did ask if he was married and if so I must accompany him to this appointment to receive any prize! Hum! Year’s ago we had a very bad experience at a time share scam! I’m glad I read the above information.

      1. We got one a few weeks ago and we called today and she said the promotion ended last week but have a make up day tomorrow. But than proceeds to say that we can call Monday to get a day if we need to. What a scam hopefully they don’t continue to call me because or anything.

  13. Googled the phone number and this was one of several sites pointing out the scam. It arrived August 18, 2020. Thanks!

  14. zjust received one today. So I searched PTL mail scam and was brought here! Thank you for the heads up! Maybe you have to take them up on their offer and bring an under cover cop to do a sting operation to find out who they hired to bring foot traffic to their business.

  15. My father in law received one of these flyers in the mail. I googled “Who is PTL?” and here I am.

    The flyer that was received had a postmark from Oklahoma City,Ok.

    The listed contact number: 855-936-3221.

  16. Rec’d this in the mail 3/12/20. I live a little north of Seattle. I googled the phone number and your web site had the answer. No way was I going to phone them – there was no return address to show who sent it so I immediately distrusted it. Too bad there’s no way to find out who the scammer is.

  17. Got one just now–should have looked this up before emailing confirmation–but at least you saved me our most precious commodity: TIME.

    PS: My sister and husband DID get a free trip, but refused the “time-share” offer–which is why I thought this MIGHT be legit.

  18. This thing is back.
    Got one today 3/9/2020.
    Googled the phone number and up popped this site!

  19. Thank you for this information! Received the card today in the mail and figured it was a scam, so googled the phone number listed on the card and this page came up.

    Thank you for looking out for the innocent victims – I am sure there are plenty that fall for it!

  20. Called the number and got a nasally young woman who became a little rude with me when I asked what she was selling, and I hung up.

  21. My mom received one of these today (12-12-19), exactly as pictured in this article. We searched online for “PTL sponsored promotion” and this article popped up. I clicked on it because it was the most recent date within the google search results. We did not call nor scratch anything off. Good to know we don’t need to waste any more time on it. Thank you for the article and for the comments.

  22. Called today and spoke with a lady who kept referring to a script. Much the same as previous comment. If married both must come to a Marriott hotel and show mailer to be directed to the appropriate room. Allow up to 1 hour, but usually less to pick up prizes. Don’t see the need for both spouses with ID to attend when mailer only had one name on it. Mailed from zip code 73069 is Norman, OK. No way to access “Full Official Rules for additional eligibility….
    Checked here so will not attend.

  23. We called and got a very energetic young lady who was very informative but told us we had to make an appointment and show up in order to claim our prize, and if married, both spouses must attend. My daughter called on my behalf because she was leary of it, but thought it didn’t hurt to call and see what they had to say. Before she would confirm a date/time, my daughter Googled this and lookie, lookie, where I am…HERE!!! Thank you for the information. When it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! :-)

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