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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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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14 thoughts on “About the Amazon Gift Card in Your Mailbox Scam

  1. Got one as well.

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. How about we all mail this promotion back to the Postmaster General requesting that their mailing permit #205 out of OKC be revolked. Or better yet, mail it back to Kim at 6220 Julia Trail, Cicero, NY 13037 with your thoughts. Or give her a call, 315-243-6261.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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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