Scam call from “Mitchell Communications” / “Faithful Marketing” / “Vandell Communications”

By | August 6, 2010

UPDATE [August 30, 2011]: Tony Mitchell has threatened to sue me for criticizing him on my blog. Read all the details here, and please consider chipping in a few bucks to help cover my legal defense. Thanks!

UPDATE [February 7, 2011]: As others have noted, they’re now making calls under a third name, “Vandell Communications”. I can confirm that’s how they’re spelling the name because, for some inexplicable reason, @VandellCom followed me briefly yesterday on Twitter before unfollowing me. D’oh!

UPDATE [November 30, 2010]: If you receive one of these calls, please report it to both the National Do Not Call Registry and the FCC. The latter is more likely to result in action against the caller, but it’s important to file both complaints.

UPDATE [November 7, 2010]: Please see my Open letter to Tony Mitchell, the owner of Mitchell Communication Group, a.k.a., Faithful Marketing.

UPDATE [October 29, 2010]: When this article was first published, on August 6, 2010, they were “Mitchell Communication(s) Group”, but now they’re “Faithful Marketing”. They’ve changed their name, but not their modus operandi. I’ve updated the title to reflect the new name, but I’ve otherwise left the article as originally posted.

Got a scam call today I wanted to let other people know about.

The caller ID was “Gorden Leslie” with the phone number 773-891-5581. Here’s a transcript of the message:

Hi, this is Patrick calling from Mitchell Communications Group. I have made numerous attempts to reach you [lie!] regarding an entry form that was filled out in your name within the last 12 to 18 months to receive a new car. [probable lie!] This will be my final attempt to notify that your name was pulled and you’re going to receive one of our top four major prizes. It would be in your best interest to give me a call back as soon as possible. The number is toll free at 1-877-279-3457 extension 243. We’re not a telemarketing agency [lie!] or a timeshare and this is not a cold call so please do not ignore this message. I’m very aware of the do not call list so I wouldn’t be calling unless you actually entered. [lie!] This is a time sensitive matter I do look forward to hearing from you. Once again congratulations my name is Patrick.

Just for kicks, I called back and was connected to a woman who identified herself as “Rhonda, your prize coordinator.”

She asked for my name and phone number. I told her that it sounded an awful lot like a scam, so to prove she was telling the truth about my filling out a contest entry form, she’d have to give me back my name if I gave her my number. She got all defensive and said it wasn’t her job to “prove” anything to me. Needless to say, this proved that it’s a scam, since a real, legitimate contest wouldn’t hesitate to prove that you’d actually entered. I decided to play along and gave her my name and phone number.

I took notes for the remainder of the call. Here are some highlights that I managed to jot down:

  • She said “top three major prizes,” in contrast to “Patrick’s” four major prizes.
  • She claimed that I had filled out an entry form at a “mall, sporting event or festival” 12 to 18 months ago and “the contest is now closed” and I’d been selected as a winner.
  • She said the three prizes were:
    • 1st: 2010 Ford Expedition or $25,000;
    • 2nd: fly and stay holiday (she went into lots of detail about this; guess what the prize everybody wins is!); and
    • 3rd: 27″ flat-screen television.
  • She said my wife and I had to go in person to find out what we’d won and sit through a 90-minute “award celebration and presentation” for the “grand opening of a new travel agency.” She claimed that the name of the travel agency was “GCI Travel”.
  • The address she gave for the presentation was 800 South Main Street, Mansfield, Mass.
  • No children or guests would be allowed to attend the presentation with us.
  • We had to bring two forms of ID — a driver’s license and a major credit card — with us. “These are for identification purposes only and will never leave your hands.”
  • She gave us a claim number, MCG534.
  • She said we had to agree to let them publicize us if we won the car or we wouldn’t receive it.
  • She claimed that I’d indicated on the entry form that I was married, over a certain age (I think it was 25 but don’t remember for certain) and make $60,000 per year. She said we would have to fill out another survey at the prize event and if the information didn’t match we wouldn’t receive the prize.
  • She tried very hard to convince us that this wasn’t a scam. She said the point of the contest was to make us feel good about this travel agency so that maybe we’d give them our business later, although there was of course no obligation. The phrases “you don’t have to buy, sign or join anything,”, “nothing to be skeptical about,” “we’re not here to waste your time,” “just trying to show you guys a nice time,” and “no trick no hoax no scam” were all used.
  • She said she was going to fax or email us a letter with confirmation of all this information and we would have to sign and bring it back with us.
  • She said we could go to pick up our prize tomorrow (yes, tomorrow!).
  • When I told her my wife was out of the country for the next several weeks, she first asked if there was another married couple that could attend and claim the prize on our behalf, and then asked if my wife could fly back into town for the day to claim the prize and then fly back to wherever she was (really!). She said that once the Ford Expedition was won, the prize drawings would be over.
  • When I told her that no, neither of those was really an option, she gave me her phone number (877-249-6405 ext. 126) and told me to call her back when my wife was back in town. She said she wasn’t going to send us the confirmation letter until then. It’s a shame; I really wanted to see it just for kicks (and to get more information about the scam).

Interesting fact: According to Google maps, one of the companies that does business at that address is “Premium Destinations Northeast.” Hmm.

I can’t find anything definitive on-line about a travel agency named “GCI Travel”.  But I think in fact they’re a timeshare company.

I filed a complaint with donotcall.gov and the FCC (both are important). I’m pretty sure this is a timeshare scam, and I’m also pretty sure their phone call to me was a violation of the do-not-call law.

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343 thoughts on “Scam call from “Mitchell Communications” / “Faithful Marketing” / “Vandell Communications”

  1. kenny

    This was just too funny! I got the same call (“Christopher” from ” communications”, caller ID: Prize Crd Srvc 773-891-5645, callback at 866 312 9553 x109). Just for fun, I called back. Christopher asked for my name. I said “I’m not sure I should provide that”. He hung up on me.

    Reply
  2. JAH from CT

    Received my call from “Paul” from Faithful Marketing–866-312-9553, ext. 243. I never enter contests, and do not fit the Mitchell Group’s criteria for winning a prize. I filed a complaint at donotcall.gov. Thanks for all your work toward ending this company’s abuse.

    Reply
  3. MCS

    Just added my complaint to the donotcall.gov site. Same exact script. Wonder how long it takes to write up a cease and desist letter from the Feds?

    Reply
  4. Stephanie

    Same call received yesterday on my answering machine. We don’t have caller ID anymore on the landline since we hardly every use it. The message was the same as everyone else’s, but I couldn’t understand the company name. I replayed the message over and over trying to figure it out, but never got it. I didn’t call back; did a search first because I haven’t entered any contests with my home phone. Also, my husband got a very similar call on his work cell phone the day before, with a different call-back number. So I was already suspicious. He never uses his work cell for anything but work calls and doesn’t give the number out. That number was 877-288-8363. Also a scam, but I don’t know if it’s the same company. But who knows, with all the names this one has.

    This blog has been very entertaining, however. It’s a terrible scam because I know there are people who will fall for it. But it’s hilarious watching Tony Mitchell try to cover his backside and to read jik’s comments and letter, which are well-written and well-researched.

    Reply
  5. Anon

    I received….well my mother received this call last Saturday, but she wasn’t home to receive the call. The lady left a message exactly like the ones posted above. It sounded a little weird and too good to be true, so i did some research online. I should have deleted the message before she had a chance to listen to it. She did listen to, and today when i walked in she was just getting off the phone with them, and she looked up at me all happy and said she had gotten a phone call from Mitchell Communications and had won one of four top prizes. At that time i had to break it to her what i had read online. I felt so bad. Thank you to everyone who has posted and brought it to my attention that this is some type of fraud. Thank you.

    Reply
  6. Tracy Barclay

    On Nov. 12, I received a voice mail from Christopher at Vandell Communications. The message says: “Hi this is Christopher calling from Vandell Communications, I’ve made numerous attempts to reach you regarding an entry form that was filled out in your name in the last 12-18 months to win a new car. This will be my final attempt to notify that your name was pulled as a winner and we are going to award you one of our top four major prizes. It will be in your best interest to give me a call back as soon as possible. My number is toll free at 1-866-312-9553, ext. 109. We’re not a telemarketing agency or timeshare; this is not a cold call so please do not ignore this message.”

    This number was a different number than the caller showed. The caller ID said “Prize Crd Srvc” with the number 773-891-5629. If you Google the original number, you will see that it is registered to a Khamraj Mookhram in Chicago.

    I decided to play along to see what kind of scam this really was so I called the toll free number and dialed Christopher’s extension. Christopher wasn’t available but Paul (x135) was could help me. They did not know my name even though they said that I had entered this contest. After giving my name and my husband’s name they asked if we were between was 25 and 72 years old, married, and had a combined income of over $45,000. Then Paul explained the prizes as follows:
    • Brand New Lincoln Navigator or $45,000 Cash
    • $2,500 to spend any way you wish
    • 2 nights’ accommodation and airfare for 2 adults to Orlando, FL, Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, CA, New Orleans, LA, Reno, NV, Cancun or Puerta Vallarta, Mexico and many more vacations to choose from.
    • 32” Color TV

    Then he asked if we won the car would we allow our names to be publicized. I answered no to that question. Then he said that we would be asked to attend a travel related presentation for 90minutes and that I would receive a “gift package”. We would need two forms of identification. A driver’s license and a major credit card, no debit cards or checkbooks. We would also need to bring the confirmation letter, which was emailed to me later. Then Paul said that the presentation was on Saturday, November 13 and I could attend at either 10am or 12 noon and asked me which was most convenient. This was the grand opening of World Class Travel in Tucson, AZ and they wanted to make a good impression.

    Later I Googled “World Class Travel” and they are a travel club that offers discounts on their travel for participating. They require an upfront “good faith” deposit, which I understand runs in about $4,000 to $6,000, required to claim your prize or gift. The amount of time to get the gift is unknown. Refunds of the upfront deposit are also difficult to recoup if you never receive your gift.

    End of game for me. I won’t be attending their “presentation” today.

    Update (11/15/2010):
    I received a call today from Paul (same person I spoke with on 11/12). Today’s call was from 773-358-1470 with a caller ID of Illinois. He asked me if I went to the presentation for World Class Travel. I told him no and he asked why. I told him that if I had indeed “won” anything I would not have to jump through hoops and sit through 90 minutes of sales pitch. I wasn’t interested in joining a “travel club”. He tried to tell me that this was not the case. I suggested that this was all a scam and that “Vandell Communications” didn’t really exist. Here’s the best part; Paul asks, “Are you a God-fearing person?” I said, “No, I’m an atheist.” End of conversation. Paul say, “May God bless you, have a good day”, and hangs up.

    I Googled 773-358-1470 and found that a number of people have reported this number as “Mitchell Communications”. I also found a website, http://www.mitchellcommunicationgroupllc.com, the web site is one page with a picture of the Chicago skyline saying that they are “Faithful Marketing, LLC”. So it seems that this company has a number of aliases.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      I live in Tucson, and received exactly the same message this afternoon. I didn’t call back, but did file a complaint with the Do Not Call registry, for whatever that’s worth.

      Reply
      1. Steve

        I just got another call from Christopher, this time from 708-801-9978, which is also in the Chicago area. This one added the ending that jik noted about the caller being aware of the do not call list.

        Reply
        1. Greg in Tucson

          Christopher called and left a message for me today…these guys are jokers.

          Reply
    2. Tracy Barclay

      These people do not give up! I got another call from Christopher at Vandell Communications. This time the phone number was 773-891-5629 and the caller ID said “Prize Crd Srvc” once again. I wonder how many Chicago area phone numbers this outfit has. I did not answer but Christopher left the same message as before.

      I have also filed complaints with the Do Not Call Registry and the FCC. I haven’t heard anything from the Do Not Call Registry but I did hear from the FCC and they say “… the facts presented in this case do not indicate a violation of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, or the FCC’s rules on which we can take enforcement action.”

      Reply
  7. K in Arizona

    I just thought I would reply because I haven’t seen anybody talking about receiving calls in Arizona. I got the call from Christopher with instructions to call 8663129553 ext 109. I might have filled out a form to win a car in the mall within the last 12-18 months I seem to recall contemplating it. I think I did fill out the form actually. The call came from 7089336039. My husband said he recieved the same call before, not sure how long ago. Nothing here seems to imply that it is a scam, just a bunch of ppl angry about getting a telemarketing call. I’ve had my number on the do not call list for years but I still get a number of unsolicted calls. I’ve decided the do not call registry doesn’t really work anymore. Marketing companies have figured out ways to get around it. I am curious but I do not want to attend an award celebration presentation or whatever. I hate those.

    Reply
    1. T in AZ

      I’ve received two msgs about a week apart both from the same number (708 area) with the same toll free call back that you listed and the same name/extension. We’ve only had this number for about 5 months and I haven’t filled out any entry forms in that time.

      Reply
    2. jik Post author

      Nothing here seems to imply that it is a scam, just a bunch of ppl angry about getting a telemarketing call.

      I think I make it quite clear in my open letter to Tony Mitchell why this is a scam even if the people who return the call and go to the presentation do actually get some sort of prize (and it’s not at all clear that they really do).

      It’s a scam because the telemarketers are lying about all sorts of things and thereby getting people to attend a timeshare marketing pitch who wouldn’t actually attend the pitch if they had been told the truth about it.

      Reply
      1. Janet Marcoux

        I got the same exact call a short time ago with the difference of the name and phone number being different, but the speech was exactly all the same lines given. This message was left on my answering machine. This is what it said:
        Hi, this is Frederick Jackson calling from Mitchell Communications Group. I have made numerous attempts to reach you regarding an entry form that was filled out in your name within the last 12 to 18 months to receive a new car. This will be my final attempt to notify that your name was pulled and you’re going to receive one of our top four major prizes. It would be in your best interest to give me a call back as soon as possible. The number is toll free at 1-866-312-9553 extension 243. We’re not a telemarketing agency or a timeshare and this is not a cold call so please do not ignore this message. I’m very aware of the do not call list so I wouldn’t be calling unless you actually entered. This is a time sensitive matter I do look forward to hearing from you. Once again congratulations my name is Frederick Jackson.
        I tried calling back several times since (got curious) and all I was able to get was a female recording saying it was Mitchell Communications Group and if you know your parties extension you may dial it. I dialed the extension and it rings a few times then goes back to the same recording. I have not been able to speak to a live person. I decided to look up the name and saw the same web page as mentioned in some of the previous blogs and then I found this site stating of similiar experiences of what I had, so I decided to type mine as well.
        Obviously, they are a scam if they are telling the same thing to everyone while changing only the names and phone numbers and are misleading and lying about everything. I hope everyone who has an experience like us come to find this site and know what they’re getting into before crossing paths with these scam artists.

        Reply
  8. Jim

    Amazing. Just got the same call from “Christopher” from 708-933-0039 with ID Mitchell Communications.

    I did not fill out any entry form for a free prize. I know better.

    They will probably claim they bought the list from a source that assured them it complied with DNC guidelines for preexisting commercial relationship. This gives them an attempt at plausible deniability, but the question DNC should ask is why they continued to call from the list when the number of complaints received indicate it was not valid.

    Thanks for you efforts here to expose this scam.

    Reply
  9. Lauren

    I got this same call today, verbatim to what’s posted on this page. Ironically, I got the same exact call 6 months ago. I got a hard push at the time to book my “awarding ceremony.” We were skeptical and pushed it off and were warned strenuously that the car could be given away if we waited. Evenutally said we weren’t interested. In today’s call, I mentioned that I had already been called and was told the car must not’ve been given away yet. You think? I bet the only person winning here is the owner of Van Dale Communications–the new name of the firm making the calls. DNC, people! Sheesh

    Reply
  10. Marc in NH

    Also received this call today. Verbatim as above. Call James at 866-312-9553 ext 9553. Caller ID had Mitchell Communications 708-856-0829. Next site, donotcall.gov. Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Tony Mitchell, The owner

    Mitchell Communcation Group, LLC now Faithful Marketing. Im not trying to be offensive but it is common sense that the message will be the same due to the promotion is the same promotion being referrenced so you will receive the same recording. We are not stating that this promotion was limited just to one person. However the call is factual we support that with documentation in writing and we register with the states we promote in. We also market for over 40 different companies. If you follow up be responding to the message left you would be better informed to make such decision to such claims. I dont not understand why the individual has made such a blog and if there is any support or evidence to this being fradulent I would like to be informed or just an explaination of why he has chosen to attempt to cybersmear my creditibility.

    Reply
    1. richard

      to tony – please email me with your phone number or email address to you – I need to have my mom removed from your list – she does not have a spouse, does not make over 60,000, can not travel or drive, and did not fill out an entry – therefore your statement is lying to her that she filled out an entry. And no, no one else filled one out for her either because there is no one in existence that would know her info to fill it out Please email me your contact info to rcc5cas@cox.net

      Reply
    2. Marlie

      Tony –
      Here, I don’t much care whether you’re offensive or not, but when someone representing your company calls MY home without MY permission, THAT offends me. The reason my number is on the NO-CALL list is to prevent people like you from calling, period. If I’ve entered a contest – a lame attempt to do ‘business’ with me, thereby voiding the NO-CALL rules – then prove it. Bring forth the paper with my name or signature. You don’t know jack-sh** about me, and the burden of proof falls on your shoulders, not mine. Simply SAYING we have a business relationship is called heresay and is not allowed, get it? I won’t ‘try’ to cybersmear your credibility, I’m going to actually DO it at every possible opportunity. You are running a fradulent telemarketing scam that needs to be stopped, and if it means meeting you in court to do so, I’ll see you there.

      Reply
  12. Nina

    Verbatim – got the same call at my house on land line – answering machine picked it up and I must be one lucky lady because was babysitting my grandchildren a hour later and won the same prize at their house on their phone . How lucky can one lady get. I and my daughter both selected for one of four top prizes. I need to play the lottery.

    Reply
  13. dede1265

    I had a message on my answering machine from “Faithful Marketing” and the name was “Fred Jackson”. The same pitch line that you submitted was exactly the same. I too have reported the number they gave me 1-866-312-9553 ex. 243…What a bunch of crap!

    Reply
  14. Det Thomas Ware State of IL

    It is everyones right to comment but keep in mind that slander and internet harrassment is against the law. Be aware that it is a serious crime and punishable by fines and jail time.

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      LOL!

      Isn’t it also against the law to impersonate a police officer?

      I suppose it’s just coincidence that this comment was posted from the same IP address as Tony Mitchell’s?

      You imbeciles just keep digging yourselves in deeper and deeper.

      Reply
      1. Tony Mitchell

        The comment was made by the officer who I have made a complaint with about your blogs. He was in my office a guess you will be contacted soon if they have a case. Im not sure why you are attacking my company. But we have not scammed anyone.

        Reply
        1. jik Post author

          That’s a good one!

          I’m not holding my breath for “Det Thomas Ware State of IL” to contact me about his “case.”

          I am “attacking [your] company” because you are lying to people and violating federal law.

          Reply
        1. jik Post author

          What does that mean? What names are you talking about? What do you mean by “tagged”? And how do you know / what evidence can you provide for whatever it is that you’re incomprehensibly trying to assert?

          Reply
  15. Amy Little from MA

    Have anyone notice that the majority of the comments left on this site is from Jik. I dont know why he is doing this but seems as if he is very angry. Yeah I got the same message also but I called myself to see what the deal was and I went to the awarding a presentation. I actual recieved one of the gifts I was promised. I got a camcord. Wish it was the car. I had a great time and like the offer made but didnt take advantage of it. Thoses who are following others on the site should know who is leading. Have a bless day. LOL and no I dont work for this company

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      Hi, “Amy”.

      The comments are from me because it’s my blog. Duh.

      I wonder why, if you are “from MA,” the IP address from which you posted your comment is in Illinois.

      I wonder why, if you “dont [sic] work for this company,” the IP address from which you posted your comment is the same as the IP address from which Tony Mitchell’s comment was posted. And “Stacy’s”. And two other comments which I trashed because they added nothing new to the discussion and were obviously astroturf. All within the last few minutes.

      Sheesh, if you’re going to try to bullshit like this, the least you could do is use an anonymizing proxy server. Idiots.

      Reply
  16. Amanda

    Same call – word for word. Googled “faithful marketing” and found your blog. Thanks for the info. I will also be filing a complaint.

    Reply
    1. Stacy

      The claim made in the above statement is all true. The script provided is also true. The company is a marketing company and has responded to a entry form submitted. THERE IS NO SCAM. Some people have blog without even making a call to be frank only fools follow fools. MITCHELL COMMUNCIATION GROUP, LLC has changes the name after being made aware there is another compnay in AR named Mitchell Communication Group, LLC.

      Reply
      1. jik Post author

        It’s so entertaining to see these scammers in action.

        It has already been demonstrated here that the people involved in these calls are official, on-the-record crooks.

        It has already been demonstrated here that there are some simple questions which the perpetrators of this scam could and would answer if they were legitimate.

        You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

        Reply
  17. Flo

    Got this call on my answer phone on a sunday night(which made me suspicious).My call was from David at Mitchell communications group phone#1-877 279 3457 and when I played back, of course was word for word the same as Jonathan’s message. I wasn’t sure how long ago message had been left as I had tons of messages on my answer phone. Decided to call back just for kicks but I wasn’t going to give any of my information as I noticed that the message was kind of vague. Did not give your name or where so called entry form was filled out. My call went to voice mail but initial play back message was answered by xxx telemarketing group(another red flag).
    The audacity of these people. I will also be filing a complaint with the do-not-call registry.
    Needless to say I deleted the message from my phone as soon as I read Jonathan’s post and all the replies.

    Reply
  18. Fred Shaw

    “Paul Wilson” called this evening and left the very same message that others have referenced. I too am on the DNC list and will be filing a complaint.

    Reply
  19. Al from NH

    Just got the same call from John Watts. Tel #1-866-312-9553. Which color ford exp. did I win!!!!!!! Thanks for the heads up

    Reply
  20. Chris Cramb

    My father just received a call from Premium Destinations Northeast Person’s name given was James Voucher number ncg540 Hours of Operation was 7:30Am-4:06PM Number was 866-312-4553 with the earlier mentioned three possibilities of winnings.

    Reply
  21. Sarah

    Got the same exact call from James. Thank you for posting this. I have also registered my complaint with the do not call resigtry.

    Reply
  22. Mark

    I have had the same call here in New Hampshire and the number was 1-866-312-9553 Extention 125. I couldn’t believe it when I heard the exact same message word for word and her name was shantayl. I had it on my voice mail because I work crazy hours but thank you very much for saving me to have to hang up on thesse fool. I had ideas it was a scam because this supposely customer relations person was chewing gum like no tomorrow and smaking her lips while reading the form. I get so tired of these scam artists. Another thing is look back and say to yourself did I really fill out a form to win a car or truck. The answer in my case is NO I would have remembered that for sure and proably would have called right away without thinking to check it out online. I appreciate your site. Thank You for saving me!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  23. ra

    just got the same call today. from ‘paul cummings’ and he mentioned “facebook marketing”. everything else he said was from the same sheet. the number to call was 866-312-9553 x243

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      I think you probably misheard. He probably said “Faithful Marketing”, which is what they’ve changed their name to (see comment below).

      Reply
  24. jik Post author

    Mitchell Communication Group is now Faithful Marketing!

    If you browse to http://mitchellcommunicationgroupllc.com/, the URL still works, and the home page is exactly the same as it was before, except all instances of “Mitchell Communication Group” on it have been replaced with “Faithful Marketing”. Funny, eh?

    What’s especially funny is that this is one of the question / answer pairs that appears in the “frequently asked questions” list on this page:

    Question: Why does Faithful Marketing, LLC have so many different names?

    Answer: Faithful Marketing, LLC does not have several other names. We market on the behalf of other companies.

    So, let’s see if I’ve got this straight… Faithful Marketing doesn’t have any other names, and yet last week this same Web site was calling them Mitchell Communication Group.

    Riiiiight.

    Crooks! Crooks! Crooks! These guys are crooks! Do not have anything to do with them!

    Reply
    1. Tony Mitchell

      If you had called it would make better sense to you. Mitchell Communication Group. LLC market several products for over 40 companies. We recently changes the name to Faithful Marketing because we where made aware that there is another company called Mitchell Communication Group, LLC located in Arkansa. That company was receiving many inquires. I have been in business for over 10 years and have a A- without being a member. The majority of my complaints are we contacted the individual, but the individual requested to be contacted.

      Reply
    2. Stephanie

      Regarding the website, it is good policy to evaluate websites to see if it is a reputable source of information. This one is a laughable attempt to brush off people’s concerns about scams. The site is amateurish and not in the least professional, with a blurry photo of Chicago and a cheesy scrolling company title at the top. I can make a much more professional website myself using the free software Nvu, and I have very little experience.

      The page consists only of a few Frequently Asked Questions. Interestingly, when I load the page it cuts off below the fold, right where the answer would be for the questions, “What is Faithful Marketing’s rating with the Better Business Bureau?”

      There are no links or additional pages to this site. There is no contact information of any kind, nor any information at all about the company, where it is located, who owns it, or what they do. It is full of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. All of these are indicators of a scam or a disreputable source.

      Reply
  25. Anonymous

    is it illegal to put stipulations on a prize you already won? Shouldn’t these stipulations had already been disclosed prior to you winning the prize? In other words since we all already won a car and there were no stipulations to winning this car prior to winning it shouldn’t they have to go ahead and send us the titles and keys so we can go pick it up?

    Reply
  26. just looking around

    GETTING BIGGER: In case you missed the announcement, Global Connections, Inc. (GCI) and Premium Destinations, North East, LLC have recently announced the opening of a new distribution center in the Boston, Massachusetts area for the sale of GCI’s Global Discovery Vacations (GDV) travel club product.

    The new 4,500 square foot center is located at 800 S Main Street, Suite 3 in Mansfield, MA and is under the Global Connections umbrella of sales distributors. The new center currently has a staff of 20 sales and administrative professionals with over 22 years combined experience in the hospitality industry.

    In a sort of “Where are they now” thing, Premium Destinations was incorporated in Ormond Beach, FL in late 2006 by Larry R Coltelli, Steven M Schlossberg and Timothy (TJ) Frick, names that are probably recognized by many of you. Looks like they’re doing well!

    Email: woodysvpg@gmail.com (or leave a comment below)

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      Fascinating. Googling for Larry Coltelli yields a ton of interesting information:

      http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2000/08/ListofLawEnforcementActions.shtm (previous legal action again Coltelli for another crooked vacation business)
      http://www.bbb.org/central-florida/business-reviews/travel-clubs/premium-destinations-in-ormond-beach-fl-121630677 (Premium Destinations has a BBB rating of C because of the large number of complaints filed against the business)
      http://dockets.justia.com/docket/florida/flmdce/6:2009cv00103/222294/ (Federal criminal case in progress against Coltelli and Schlossberg)
      http://www.bbb.org/central-florida/business-reviews/vacation-time-share/grand-seas-resort-and-club-navigo-in-daytona-beach-fl-27000353 (another business run by Coltelli and Schlossberg, this one with an “F” rating for “33 complaints filed against business; failure to respond to 5 complaints; 2 complaints that were not resolved; 7 serious complaints”)
      http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/01/westgate.shtm (what a surprise, Coltelli and Schlossberg have been nailed in the past for Do Not Call violations!)
      http://www.bbb.org/central-florida/business-reviews/vacation-certificates-and-vouchers/vacation-station-florida-in-ormond-beach-fl-6000026 (another Coltelli / Schlossberg business with a bad BBB rating, C+ in this case)
      http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0723047/090126allinonevacatiostipjudgmnt.pdf (there’s a permanent federal injunction against Coltelli and Schlossberg, prohibiting them from violating the Do Not Call law)

      I could go on, but you get the point, which is that these guys are crooks, and knowingly or not, Mitchell Communication Group is helping them to violate Federal law as well as a federal court injunction to which they previously agreed.

      Reply
  27. Dani

    I received a call from Fred Jackson sometime yesterday, my call back number was 866-312-9553 ext 243 from Faithful Marketing as well, However on my called ID the number came in under 708-248-7366, which according to 411.com belongs to Martin Sebastian. I have filed a complaint with Donotcall.gov, and BBB as this is truly a scam.

    Reply
  28. JD

    I received the same call at 2:21p.m. on Oct.26, 2010. I did not answer the call, because I have an answer machine. This is not the first call I’ve gotten with the same message as all the others. Add my call to the report list.

    Reply
  29. jik Post author

    Just got another one of these calls today. The caller ID said this one came from 773-358-1470 and the caller ID name was “MITCHELL COMMUN”. Here’s what it said (significant differences in bold):

    Hi, this message is for [my wife's name]. Hi, [name] [It is significant that this time they knew the name of someone in the house. That's quite different from the last call. It would seem that they're ramping up their game and making the extra effort to associate names with the phone numbers they're cold-calling to make the calls more convincing.], this is James, a prize coordinator here at Faithful Marketing. I’m calling regarding an entry form that was filled out in your name within the last 12 to 18 months to receive a new car. This will be my final attempt to notify that your name was pulled and we’re going to award you one of our top three major prizes. It would be in your best interest to give me a call back as soon as possible. My number is toll free at 866-312- 9553 extension 130. We are not a telemarketing agency or a timeshare and this is not a cold call so please do not ignore this message. I’m very aware of the do not call list so I wouldn’t be calling unless you actually entered. This is a time sensitive matter and I do look forward to hearing from you. Once again congratulations and my name is James extension 130. Thank you.

    I filed a second complaint with the Do Not Call Registry.

    Reply
  30. Lisa

    Same call – verbatim – I also lodged a complaint with the do not call registry!

    Reply
  31. Mary

    oh yeah. got a message from ole Fred Jackson. He is not going to call anymore because we won’t return his call. For our info, we have won one of the top four prizes, but we better call him back if we want it.

    Reply
  32. Judith

    I received a call this morning (8:45 on a Sunday). We also are on the DNC list and I filed a complaint too.

    Reply
  33. Steve

    Thanks! Saved me a lot of time as well. Carbon copy from “PauL”. Will report as well.

    Reply
  34. Tommy

    I got same call, except caller I.D.’d himself as Fred Jackson,and the number he called from was 708-801-9517. The callback number was 866-312-9553 ext.243. Oh yes, Fred said he was calling from “Faithful Marketing”. The call came in at 8:16 am, October 23, 2010. Thanks for the internet these crooks can be exposed.

    Reply
  35. Philip

    I received the same call today from John Thomas.
    Thanks for posting this information

    Reply
  36. sue d

    i received the same call from patrick 10/18 identical to the above- called back and got the same scam line. had to travel to mystic CT (2 hrs away) within 2 days. Thank g-d I sat down to check this out- also never received the paperwork she was sending me. Oh well the dream was alive for about 4 hours!!!!

    Reply
  37. Lori Loans

    I just got the EXACT same call on my business phone. I don’t enter random contests and would certainly never leave my work phone number. SCAM SCAM SCAM

    Reply
  38. Bud in Al

    Got the same message last night from David, actually thought it could be legit since he stated he “was aware of the do not call list” and would not call unless you had entered” … yeah, aware of just how to get around the list legally. What can be done about these dirtbags?? Where is all of the change??

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      … yeah, aware of just how to get around the list legally.

      Actually, I’m not convinced that what they’re doing is legal, since I think they’re lying when they claim that the people they’re calling have entered a contest. They’re just claiming that it’s legal in the hope that it’ll discourage people from filing complaints.

      Reply
      1. Florida victim

        Interesting. My mother-in-law recently got this call. Since she does fill out entry forms from time to time (against my advice), we could not be sure they were violating donotcall regs. Not sure, that is, until I recvd. the call today. My # is on the donotcall list and I have not entered any drawings, completed surveys, etc. for around ten years. I know for a fact I did not enter the “drawing” and accordingly am filing a complaint. As to whether or not they are a scam, if you want to do business with a company that uses deceptive marketing practices and hope they treat you honestly, good luck.

        Reply
  39. Adam Walter

    I would like to add my voice to the multitudes who almost got reeled in by this company. Our phone call was a carbon copy of yours and after reading this post, I am thankful we didn’t waste our time! We were supposed to drive an hour to Reservoir South Office Park at 800 South Main Street in Mansfield, MA to a non-existant company called “Premium Destination”. They had also claimed we entered to win in the last 12-18 months. My wife and I NEVER take part in random giveaways or contests, so that was completely false!

    I am convinced it’s not a “scam” per say, but they are certainly practicing some deceitful, sneaky marketing ploys to reel people in.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      same here, he has called me more than once same info this is crazy

      Reply
  40. Robyn

    Got the exact same call just now, thanks for the heads up. Just filed my own complaint at donotcall.gov

    Reply
  41. Obidinah

    Just got a call at 11:00 at night from David. Not like working hard all day to be startled out of a deep sleep! I also called and complained at donotcall.gov I also called the company back in which I received a voice mail and let them know that I didn’t know what time it was where they were calling from, but we go to bed when the sun goes down, and that they better never call here again. Hope this helps others

    Reply
    1. Obidinah

      Forgot to say thanks for posting this info. Calmed down enough to Finally go to bed. Signing off from Alabama

      Reply
  42. Suzanne Greenwood

    I just received the same call from David today!! Thanks for posting this!!

    Reply
    1. maryanne

      i just got the call 2 times in last 2 days from patrick. i am not responding after reading these replies

      Reply
  43. Anonymous

    I got the same call from david yesterday called it back but no one was there to accept my call at the extesion he left

    Reply
  44. JB

    What a coincidence. Patrick left me a message yesterday, too. Thanks for posting. I knew it had to be a scam, but they sure did make it sound enticing. I feel sorry for those who are not savvy enough to do a websearch before calling back.

    Reply
  45. marie

    same problem here. so i’ve been trying to reach them for 4-6 weeks. i work alot and am very busy so there was a lot of phone tag going on. when i finally spoke with “marlin” this evening, it was the exact same script, same run down of “my entry form”, same “oh, you’re not married, don’t make X amount per year as you wrote on the form… there’s too many discrepancies here for me to help you obtain your prize”, same everything. so i asked “marlin” for his company’s name and location and googled it. found this board. should have googled it 4-6 weeks ago. filing my complaint with bbb and donotcall.gov as we speak. thanks!!

    Reply
  46. jik Post author

    Looks like the owner and/or employees of Mitchell Communications Group are actually trying to defend themselves online. For example, read through the comments at http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-866-999-3703. It’s funny, really.

    In case any them get around to reading this posting; Hey, bozos, here’s how you can prove you’re legitimate:

    1. Explain why, if you are only calling people who entered a contest, you robo-called every phone number in a guy’s house.
    2. Explain why, if you are only calling people who entered a contest, you’re calling people who don’t actually qualify under the terms of the contest and asserting that they said otherwise on their entry form, when they insist that they never would have lied on a contest entry form.
    3. Explain why you are unable to provide any sort of private information (name, address, phone number, etc.) that would prove that the person you are calling actually filled out an entry form.

    Here’s some news for you: crooks don’t usually admit, “Hey, I’m a crook!” What they usually do is say, “I’m not a crook!” Therefore, the fact that you are repeatedly asserting that you are legitimate is worthless. If you want people to believe that you are legitimate, then prove that you are legitimate.

    Reply
  47. John

    Received messge veratim with one above except for caller’s name which I could not understand. Maybe have said “David” but sounded like a female???

    Thanks for the heads up. Their website says “Mitchell Communication Group, LLC purchased your entry form from a third party broker.” So if I did fill out a form in the last 18 months it was not for them.

    Complaint filed.

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      I searched for the quote you gave from their Web site and found them at http://mitchellcommunicationgroupllc.com/. Thanks for the quote — I hadn’t found that site before now.

      Interestingly, that Web site consists of nothing but the home page, which lists a series of “frequently asked questions” designed to convince people that they aren’t a scam. If they weren’t a scam, they wouldn’t need to work so hard to convince people otherwise. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

      There are at least three different reasons we can be sure that this is a scam:

      1. A previous commenter noted that they called several different phone numbers in his house in quick succession. If they had truly been calling from a contest entry form, they would have had only one of his phone numbers. The fact that they called several proves that they are robo-calling.
      2. The “contest” they’re calling about apparently requires married couples with a certain income level, but as noted by several commenters, many of the people they are calling don’t qualify and never would have said otherwise on an entry form.
      3. As I previously noted, if they had purchased legitimate contest entry forms, then they would be able to prove it when asked by a caller, and they would be eager to do so when asked by a caller to prove their legitimacy. The fact that they were unable to do so when I asked them, and indeed bristled at the suggestion, makes it clear that they’re lying about entry forms.
      Reply
  48. Leah

    Same call from David tonight. Thank you. I have filed my donotcall.gov complaint

    Reply

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