CLEVELAND - Northeast Ohio consumers are receiving a postcard that makes them think they can cash in on a shopping reward, but beware -- you're just losing cash.
The postcard is believable because it names Walmart and Target. However, the stores are not affiliated with the offer.
"We are trying to reach you about your unclaimed reward," Jeraldine Robinson read from the postcard she received.
The "reward" is $100 in gift rebates to Walmart and Target. The postcard caught the attention of Robinson because she needed money for her trip to visit family.
"I thought $100, I could get some clothes because we were going to Texas and you know how hot it is in Texas. That's the only reason I did it because I was going to throw it away," Robinson explained.
Robinson paid $3.95 for shipping and handling. But, she didn't get the reward she was expecting. "I don't have that Walmart card."
Instead, Robinson was enrolled in a savings club. There's a monthly fee, and every month you can earn $10 back "if" you spend $50 and mail in your receipts.
"It's not just a $100 gift card free and clear, as the postcard would lend you to believe," said Sue McConnell, Better Business Bureau of Cleveland senior vice president.
The Better Business Bureau received calls from three other consumers. The phone numbers and the name of the savings club varies with each postcard, but all the cards were mailed in Chicago.
McConnell said consumers should ask more questions before signing up for an offer.
"If it's a legitimate offer, I would tell them, if this membership club is so great just send me something in writing and I can determine if I really want to join or not," McConnell said.
Most of these savings clubs offer a 30 day trial membership, so Robinson got her membership club money back. With all risk free trials, you lose the shipping and handling fees.
In Robinson's case, it was $3.95.
She says next time she gets an offer in the mail, it's going in the shredder.
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Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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