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

  1. E

    Just received a similar call and looked up the company name online. This blog was one of the first websites to pop up in Google. The person I spoke with asked me to write down the below information. Our coversation followed the same narrative as others who commented on this blog. Please see the info they asked me to write down below.

    Welcome center

    40 in Samsung tv

    Vacation Hilton hotel

    2015 Ford Explorer or $25,000

    792 South Main St. Mansfield, Ma 02048

    Reply
  2. Janna

    Got this same call tonight. Now they’re calling themselves Premium Club–same exact script, same exact prizes listed.

    Reply
  3. Raj

    Just got the same call from the Welcome Center. Thick Indian accent, calling themselves Bob and some other English name. Exactly the same script the author mentioned. I did not give any personal details, but felt guilty even talking to them. I am not going to waste time in attending that address.

    Reply
    1. Sue

      I got a voicemail mags from these folks this evening! They claimed to be the Tri County Welcome Center in Mansfield. Gotta be careful out there!

      Reply
    2. Cara

      The WELCOME center, thank you! I just got a call saying I won a vacation from entering a contest at a shopping mall or sporting event months ago. They said I’d have to come to Mansfield to claim it. I asked the guy the company name multiple times but he had such a thick Indian accent I couldn’t figure out what the first letter was. Script is on point with what this guy posted above. Even them making a weirdly huge deal about me being married/having a significant other, and saying that I entered saying I was above 35 (I am not, and would never enter a contest lying about my age. I’m over 18 anyway, who does that haha).

      I don’t understand the point of this, do they just try to sell you stuff if you show up? Do they give you a vacation and then bill you for it?

      Reply
      1. jik Post author

        They make you sit through an hours-long pitch for an expensive vacation time-share.

        Your “prize” for doing so will have lots of strings attached. E.g., if they promise a vacation, the vacation will have tons of black-out dates, and when you try to actually schedule it there will be all sorts of road-blocks. So many of the “prizes” they do give away end up never costing them anything because the recipients never end up using them.

        Reply
      2. Kellin

        This is exactly the call i received from “The Welcome Center”, as they claimed.
        Aparently they claimed a drawing was entered by me or my spouse or family member at a number of possible locations and 1 or 3 major prizes had been won.

        1. 40 led hdtv
        2. Ford Explorer ($50,000) value
        3. A vaction package for 2 to a number of US locations

        I gave them no information, but asked a bunch of questions. For one, my faimly lives out of state and 2, im not married. He said i should take his name down and the number he called from (508-120-6631) i wss skeptical from the start of the call. He never knew my name. He sounded irritated about being asked so many questions and inexperienced in this type of call.

        It was also said I was required to go to the welcome center at a time of my choosing to sit through a 90 minute presentation and would receive a scratch off ticket and then one of the prizes free from pressure to buy anything.

        It of course sounded just like marketing for timshare, but he tried assuring me that was not true. It was obvious something was being sold. If it sounds to good to be true…etc. etc.
        I immediately looked up the name of the place he wss calling for and this was the top of the list. So im sharing this information.

        Reply
  4. Tara P

    They are still at it I just received a call! They are now called the welcome center. The script is very similar to the author of this post. I won a vacation. They got my name from the mall or an event . It is not a timeshare it will cost me nothing. My husband and I have to go to the office together. Are we married do we make more than $60,000 a year, are we between the ages of 25 and 70. Always do my homework before I get myself into something, thanks for the blog. I did add my number to the do not call. I could not find where on the FCC site to report them. Reporting them doesn’t appear to be working though the original blog is several years old now and they’re still at it.

    Reply
  5. Jafar

    The Internet is a great thing. Boy I am so glad that I checked before wasting my Saturday afternoon. I am so grateful that you have posted the complete communication. It was very helpful to see that their narrative is the same. They are called Premium Destinations now but the contact information, and the dialog are the same. I am not going to attend, but I hope some who did attend will report to BBB.

    Thank you for saving my Saturday afternoon. Call me cynical but no commercial/sales entity will give you anything for free if they do not believe that they will see a return. It simply does not work for them to give out gifts without return.

    Reply
    1. Lisa D

      Got this call about 4 times, finally called the number since I recently DID fill out a contest form, however I knew it was a scam when they said I was married, NOT. Then they said I was between 25 and 72, hello, that’s half the population. Next they told me I was pre qualified to win the grand prize, contrary to the message I got, that said I had already won. I got the whole speech about the identification at the door as well, blah,blah, I can’t wait to NOT go and waste my time.

      Reply
  6. Rudd

    HERE IS MY CONFIRMATION EMAIL I JUST RECEIVED ,,,,,,, VERY CONVINCING. LOL!!

    Global Travel
    800 S. Main [email protected] The Reservoir South Office Building (03 Lower Level)
    Mansfield, MA 02048

    Time: 8:00 PM Date: 06/11/15 Thursday
    We would like to thank you for attending our 90 minute sales presentation on travel to learn more about our company. You do not have to buy, sign or join anything. You have already been selected. As a recipient of one of the gifts, you are going to receive a Sweepstakes Scratch-Off ticket. This ticket will reveal one of the major gifts you will receive. Be sure to arrive on time and good luck!
    YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED TO RECEIVE ONE OF FOUR MAJOR GIFTS!
    § Brand New 2015 Ford Explorer Vehicle
    § $25,000 Retail Value Which Is Offered Instead of the Vehicle
    § Fabulous Vacation: 3 Days 2 Nights Hotel Stay In Orlando Fl, Las Vegas NV Or Falmouth Ma for 2 Adults
    § Brand New Flat Screen Stereo Color Television

    In addition to anything that you “scratch off” you will also receive a $50 Visa Prepaid Card – Which will be already activated.

    Sound Too Good To Be True?
    As a full service travel agency with offices nationwide, we are fully aware of the often-quoted adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Unfortunately, these days, we all have a right to be suspicious and should be cautious.
    Allow us to explain why and how we offer gifts worth hundreds to thousands of dollars…
    We have experimented with direct mail, and do you know, the national average is that 300 letters are mailed in order to get just one guest to attend our introductory seminar?
    Did you know that a 60-second commercial on network TV during prime time runs between $12,000 and $80,000, depending upon the show, the time slot and the season?
    We have considered newspaper advertising and you might be surprised to learn that a half ad in the Sunday travel section can cost over $12,000.00.
    We explained all that to say this: This is actually the most cost effective for us to give you a quality gift package than to spend tens of thousands of dollars on advertising and advertising agencies. If we were to spend all that money on commercials or printed advertising, you may or may not ever see it; and most importantly, most likely would not ever respond.
    The bottom line, it is more cost effective for us (and more beneficial to you) to spend our advertising budget on a nice gift for you than some expensive advertising campaign or promotion that may or may not work.
    Finally, you should also know that we would not risk our reputation by attempting to deceive you. We have been in business for years, are members of numerous industry and civic organizations and associations and fully bonded, registered, and insured. What to expect while you are here: you will hear a brief discussion on our discount travel and various worldwide vacation opportunities for your entire family. We will show you how to create your fantasy vacation in comfortable, exotic locations, at affordable prices.
    Our representative will gladly answer any questions you may have and assist you in any way possible.upon completion of the 90minute presentation, gifts will be awarded. No children or guests allowed because of insurance purposes.

    Terms and Conditions
    If you are a Travel agent/Travel club owner or attended a travel club presentation within the last 13 months, you are not eligible, Invitation is for the original couple who received a phone call from us. Recipients will be responsible for taxes and fees associated with any premium scratched off. This promotion is open to a selected few of married & cohabiting adults with at least one adult being between the ages of 25-72 and have a combined annual income of at least $60,000. Both must be present with proof of living together ( Id’s Or Mail). Two forms of identification are required. Acceptable identification is a driver’s license/photo ID and a major credit card (employment IDs or debit cards/check cards are not acceptable forms of identification). You must print and bring this confirmation letter with you. Items you need to bring: 2 forms of identification and this Confirmation Letter, IDs will never leave your hand. Please arrive 15 minutes early to be registered.

    Reply
  7. JAC

    Add me to the list. I just got the same call, virtually verbatim. I have to say the woman was really good, I was really considering attending. I googled the 800 South Main St., Manchester, MA address and this website popped up. Guess where I WON’T be going now!! Thank you all for your posts, you just gave me back at least 3 hours of my life that I was going to throw away. I really should know better.

    Reply
    1. Rudd

      Just got the same exact call. LOL!! Me and my wife need to be there at 8pm tomorrow night. NOT!

      Reply
  8. LPM

    This guy, Willliam Tate, with International Sweepstakes, Premium Destinations 800 South Main Street…. just called us with the same scripted message!!!! SUCH A SCAM!!!!!
    DO NOT ENTERTAIN THIS IDIOT!!!!

    Reply
  9. beth

    Almost waisted time with going to this. Received a letter about 2 free airline tickets if we attended a presentation about cruise ships. The location was 800 South Main St Mansfield MA. Needless to say we will not be attending after reading here. Thank you for the post and thank you to everyone who commented.

    Reply
  10. Jeska

    I worked for Northeast Getaways and we got names and info from those prize box things at fairs and in pizza shops where you enter to win a Home Depot gift card and things like that. It’s a scam. It really is and they even admit it when they’re training us to make these calls.

    Reply
    1. Melissa

      Im curious as to why you worked for a place that was a scam? not judging, but really am curious. Do you get paid? Are the plane tickets legit, or do people si through the presentation to get fake airline tickets? If people decide to join the timeshare, is there actually a timeshare? When they are training you and actually SAY it’s a scam, why are people continuing to do this? You say you did work for them- why did you leave?

      Reply
  11. Anonymous

    AS BEING AN FORMER EMPLOYER EVERYTHING THAT WAS REPORTED IS TAUGHT TO THE EMPLOYEE TO SAY. ALL THE QUOTES WERE RIGHT ON POINT. AND YES IT IS TYRING TO GET YOU TO BUY INTO A TIME SHARE. AND THE TICKETS THAT THEY GIVE AWAY IS GIVING TO EVERYBODY WHEATHER UYOU BUT INTO THE TIMESHARE OR NOT.

    Reply
  12. Alicja

    Wow! I guess they just called me as well. I got a call from 603-718-1050 Northern gateways. The lady said that my dad won a trip, he just have to go and pick the destination! I asked her when was the drawing, she said it was today! It can be true because they called me 2 times before but I just never answered… that would mean that my dad won before they even picked the winner!
    She also asked me if I can go to Atlantic City tomorrow! at 11 o’clock. I asked her if I have to pay anything and she said, she doesn’t want to sell anything to me and shes not a salesperson. She also asked me if my dad earns certain amount of money, and she wanted to confirm where I live.
    I’m just glad I checked this blog..because from what I can read here, it would be such a waste of time.

    Reply
    1. Di3

      I got a crazy letter saying I had won tickets. Crazy since it coordinated with a friends out of town wedding. So I thought it might actually be someone gifting us a trip. When she set up appt for same day as wedding I got suspicious. Glad I googled for info on address. 800 South Main Street, Suite 03LL, Mansfield MA 02048. After reading this I called back to make sure I was no longer contacted by them and that they not use my address phone or email for any purposes of contacting either myself or my husband. The best part was that I was told we could cover up our cc number with tape, when using it to confirm ID with Liscence. I hope somebody does go, and brings tons of unruly children with them. Perhaps there could be some way to list them a child and pet friendly travel agency.

      Reply
  13. meatwad

    my mum told me about this “offer” and asked me to google “800 S Main in Mansfield, Ma” for directions. this site was the first one that popped up. after breezing through the post and a few comments i told her not to bother. thanks!

    Reply
  14. will doulgas

    If it is too good to be true, it probably is.

    My wife and I went to their location on a Saturday after receiving a call about 2 free roundtrip airline tickets to hear their 90 minute presentation. After waiting 20 minutes after the planned start time, we still waited in the waiting room. A woman came up and said they were overbooked and we could not attend. She said they would still provide us the 2 airline tickets but we had to call the redemption center. When calling and speaking first with one person and then a manager, they said they couldn’t provide us the free airline certificates. Instead, we could come back down and receive two more. No thank you I said. Eventually, I received the certiicate.

    When reading the “fine print”of the free airline tickets certificate, first is says you must send $4.99 to receive the travel offer and register Then, they will send the Fly America Vacation Passport activation package. You then must sent $50 per tickete with the Activiation form. So, for a free flight anyway in the continental US now will cost $104.99 plus taxes, fees, etc. But wait, more “fine print”. They list 23 cities it includes, and says additional departure and destination cities are available, howver, surfcharges may apply. Chachingggg$$$$ And, of course, the person who made the original call with the invivatation said there was no black out dates. Not ture. “Travel is not permitted 7 days before, after or on any federal holiday and Easter.” So, if there is one federal holiday in a month, at least 14 days are not available because of the two week week window around the holiday. So much for “no restrictions”.

    My guess the free hotel stay (we were told 3 nights but the certiicate says 2) probably cost three times the normal rate.

    My advice…spend the 90 plus minutes you would have spent at the presentation doing something with your family or helping a neighbor.

    Reply
    1. CeCe

      We got the notification for free airline tickets in the mail. When I called the 00 number, I spoke with a rep from “airfaresanddeals.com” and we were to receive 2 round trip air tickets to anywhere in the US, and would need to pay only taxes and surcharges. The other condition was that the departure and return trips needed to be at least 4 days apart. Plus, if we confirmed the day before, we would receive 3 days 2 nights hotel stay in location of choice. Plus, we’ll receive a surprise bonus when we show up. Not supposed to be a timeshare, but the person I talked with did mention Premier Destinations. There were all the same requirements as listed below regarding age, marital status, income, etc. 90 minutes of my time is pretty important. I’ve researched a lot of information about Premier Destinations, but have not looked at “airfaresanddeals.com” yet. that’s next. I’m not wasting my time for a scam or to be pushed into a timeshare. Thanks for the information!

      Reply
  15. Cross

    Hello everyone, I just got off of the phone with a company that acted as if it had 2 name. One being Northeast Getaways, and the other being premium destinations. Whether its the same company or not doesn’t matter. Its location was also 800 south main st. Mansfield MA, 02048. Apparently they received my information from a drawing that I DID submit into. My partner and I both submitted. Almost everything listed in the first message of this chat is identical to what I experienced tonight. the phone number was 603-718-1050, and I spoke to a Mrs. Lemons…….A man named Justin spoke to me afterwards t get the actual details. They want me to see them tomorrow and sit through a presentation. Is this worth going to? My main concern is that the place I submitted my information to was an event that occurs every year, that I always go to, and trust. I need to get my prize package, but I needed to have certain qualifications. At first, the requirement was 25, then justin said it was 27. The income started at 50k a year, and justin jumped it to 60k…….Clearly there is an issue with this company. Its a shame too, cause I was all excited.

    Reply
    1. Tonya

      Well I am so sorry to see this..My husband and I just came back from a Premium Destination last night. 100 E Granada Blvd. Ormond Beach, Florida.. We both heard the same stories except the lady that called me was a charmene holley. same area code 708…but we did not buy but have won a free trip.. well when I just checked it ..guess what not a free trip!! What the hell.. we should know better..same thing with the income over 50k a year and must be over 25.. well we felt like we were in a retirement home.. no one under 65 was there except husband and I.. not trying to be mean but if it is not about time share what the hell is it?? and really we r only 43.. big diff.. well hope all this can get resolved maybe.. but it needs to stop Thank You all for paying attention.

      Reply
  16. Siteo

    I received an email from the Mitchell group too. They claim to be representing job recruiters. They asked me to send them my resume in order to steal my personal information. Can I report this to FCC ? I am from Canada.

    Reply
  17. Jen

    Funny, I think they’re operating under a new name now, but it sounds like the same exact company. I had been getting calls from a weird number all week on my cell (which I hadn’t answered). Finally I answered yesterday after a sketchy voicemail was left saying I had won a package that was waiting for me. I decided to call back, and while it was a different spiel, it was pretty much the same story. Sit through a presentation, yada yada..I had entered at the marshfield, ma fair..When I said I didn’t they said “oh then one of your friends did for you!”. I’m new to MA. I have no friends here. It was a bunch of bs. I asked what their website was and she had to put me on hold (which was her covering the phone with her hand and saying “she’s asking for the website?”) and told me it was northeastgetaways.com (gee, it doesn’t exist!). She kept saying “I see where you’re coming from” when I told her this sounds like BS to me, “but can you just come pick it up and see for yourself?” She kept saying this is how they like to advertise, by giving 4 roundtrip tix to a bunch of different places across the US that we could choose from. “We don’t like to advertise on tv, so this is our way of advertising, by giving away free trips and making people happy and then they tell other people about us.” Yeah, okay. I told her to send me some mail in writing and for some reason this was a problem. I told her I had to go, but send me something in writing please. Let’s see if they send anything or call back today!

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      This definitely sounds slimy, but I’m not convinced it’s Vandell Communications. They don’t have a monopoly on slimy telemarketing.

      Reply
  18. andrew

    New solicitation, but same deal from our friends at 800 S Main in Mansfield, Ma. This time thye company was Premium Destinations and they are working the travel agent angle.
    Our card was a happy birthday card – Complimentary Net book – note book (retail $100) and a $300 food certificate.

    Bryan Cone #9013 said my wife and I had to go in person to sit through a 90-minute information presentation. The address is the same 800 South Main Street, Mansfield, Mass everyone else quotes.
    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.” He gave us a claim number, BDN408. We had to be married, between 25 and 44 and make $60,000 per year.

    He tried very hard to convince us that this wasn’t a scam. He said the point of the complimentary notebook 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.

    I am thinking after seeing all of this that it will be more of the same:
    * 90 minutes of wasted time
    * Requirement to take a trip to get my “complimentary notebook”
    * Fees upon fees to actually take a trip

    I have not been through this as many above have. Luckily I found this site first. I will give them a call and ask them some pointed questions just to see what answers I get…….stay tuned.

    Reply
    1. concerned about lack of info

      First off, I HAVE BEEN TO THIS PRESENTATION!!! And I can tell you it is NOT a timeshare. The presentation is for a vacation travel service for which you can become a member (for a fee) but it is one of the best investments my family has made.

      My girlfriend has also been and she decided it wasn’t the right time for her and they did NOT pressure her in any way, and she received her vouchers for her airline tickets and grocery card for $300, which she had to register, but did that right away. The calls sounded a little like scam material to me, too, but I figured if they are giving us something to get us there for nothing, maybe it’s worth taking a look.

      I think before you totally blast the idea of going to the presentation. You should really do a little more research to find out what you may be missing out on. The only additional fees to claim prizes were like a $5 registration fee, and if you took the option to go on a cruise instead of a fly and stay, you have to pay port fees and taxes along with passport doc fees, which you would have to to travel off the U.S. land anyway, and you have to pay taxes. That’s it.

      I feel sorry for those of you who make a decision based on somone else’s say so, even if they haven’t experienced it for themselves. SO what makes them the experts? Take a chance every now and then, especially if you are getting something for free, you just might be pleasantly surprised!

      Oh, yeah, P.S….this program is done by referral, so someone YOU know submitted your info because they thought you might like it!

      Thanks to all the lemons out there who keep it sour!

      Time to make LEMONADE!!!

      Reply
      1. jik Post author

        A “vacation travel service” is essentially a vacation timeshare — you pay thousands of dollars up-front to supposedly save money on vacations in the future.

        I want to be clear that the promotion to which you and the commenter above refer is not the same one which prompted me to post this blog posting.

        Note, further, that Vandell Communications claims that they only call people who have explicitly opted in to being called, so if you are telling the truth that “this program is done by referral,” that’s yet another indication that it’s not the Vandell Communications program.

        Just out of curiosity, how do you know that the program is done by referral?

        Also, are you aware that a program done by a referral, as you claim, would be a violation of the federal Do-Not-Call Act? The Act does not allow someone else to give a merchant permission to call you — you have to give that permission yourself.

        Reply
      2. ab

        Nobody had to refer you. Please don’t be that that naive. They told me on the phone that I have, not won, but have received this offer because I had entered a drawing at the New England seafood festival. When I showed up for the presentation they tried to tell me differently. Ridiculous. And if it was such an amazing offer it would be available all the time. We were told that if we did not commit to $6000 before we left the building it was not valid.This hardly seems legit for a company who is on the “up and up”. Steer clear. I haven’t checked out our “free” airline tickets yet but I seriously doubt its legit. I

        Reply
  19. Anna

    I got a postcard in the mail with ‘Southwest’ in bold across the top. The card said I will be given 2 RT tix anywhere Southwest flies. Also, for calling within 48hrs, I win $100 in gas rebate voucher. When I called, the woman, Dionna, said the name was Premium Destination’ at 800 So. Main St in Mansfield. Have not gone to the presentation and definitely not going now!! Thanks for all the info that saved us time and money.

    Reply
  20. Dee C

    Received phone message telling me I had won one of three prizes (2011 Ford Hybrid, Cash or Vacation). Called back and spoke to thick accented woman who took information and said she would send me information in the mail. Didn’t receive, so called again. Different person, identifying herself as a supervisor, told me I had to pick up prize after sitting through a brief presentation. Since I was at loose ends I decided to have fun with them. Being single, I was not allowed to bring anyone with me. The location was one of those business parks with all kinds of small offices in a strip. The first thing I noticed on arrival was that there were absolutely no identifying signs outside their suite, but some of the others in same strip did have identifcation. Inside you had to show your two ID’s and fill out form with all the same information that they took over the phone. Then you were called one person or one couple at a time to go into a different room. There you sat for forty five minutes and listened to their salesman’s spiel. Then the “vice president” (of what?) gave a his half hour presentation. Bottom line, buy into a travel club costing an initial investment of anywhere from $8,000 to 25,000, depending on level. Then pay $900 a year if you want to go outside the USthat would on how they made their money.

    Reply
    1. Dee C

      Oops! Darn cat walked on keyboard.
      They made their money with the membership fees. Then you stayed at one of the locations for $149 a week. They buy unused rooms from resorts. Then after listening to all that they assigned you individually to a sales person who is suppose to give you another pitch. I told mine to save her breath…I was only there for the prize. She told me that all the scratch off prizes so far had been the same – a “free vacation”. After getting the paperwork to fill out for my “free vacation” I see that the name of the group is ITC (International Travel Club) out of Orange City, Florida.
      They were “sponsored by AB Vacations – a new travel agency opening at the location of the presentation. Funny, for a grand opening you saw very little identifying material there. Also, the free vacation was not really free (of course). First there was the $16-$65 redemption fee to make your reservation. Then there was the one-time $120 fee for processing your paperwork. Then there was the user being responsible for all taxes, port charges, gas surcharges, and other applicable fees. You must also give them a minimum of 120 days advance notice of when you plan to take your trip.
      Oh what a great scam…being an accountant it was definitely entertaining.

      Reply
  21. Mary

    got a call that came up as PREMIER GIFTING 708-248-7217. I picked up and said I was on the do not call list not to call me and I hung up. All week long now I have been getting Unknown callers, private callers, name unavailable, unavailable listings. I answered once and whoever hang up on me so I assume it is just retribution for me hanging up on them. I placed my complaint with do not call.
    I also got a call from 708-898-1269. Came up as VANDELL COMMUNICATION. I did the same thing so I half expect more calls. Placed my complaint on that number also. I did not give them a chance to speak after reading all this.
    I live half way between Orlando and Daytona.

    Reply
  22. Jane Doenotcall

    Mansfield Inc 800 south main St Mansfield MA called tonight, same three prizes. When asked why both husband and wife had to pick up prize, got runaround by “Michael” 508-556-3399 x2424. So glad I found this site!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Tom

      Same as Jane Doenotcall, originating number was 781-061-0729 which reverse phone lookup says is “not a valid phone #” Michael, supervisor, kept mixing “gift” and “prize” and “three” and “four” as the number I had won. Original “agent” did not mention cash. Michael gave me “personal direct line” of 508-556-3399 which shows as a valid Worcester number. Said company name was Mansfield Inc. which does not exist in any searches I could find and Google maps shows the following companies at this address: Coloseum Software‎ – Sign in to rate

      Eccounting Solutions‎ – Sign in to rate

      Equity One Sbc‎ – Sign in to rate

      First Option Inc‎ – Sign in to rate

      Fiserv‎ – Sign in to rate

      Royal Alliance‎ – Sign in to rate

      Spade Technology Inc‎ – Sign in to rate

      Stephen J Fallon Law Offices‎ – Sign in to rate

      Synergetiq LLC‎ – Sign in to rate

      T H Hottleman & Associates‎ – Sign in to rate

      Tender Loving Care Home Health‎ –

      None of which sound like a travel agency but I will NOT be visiting to find out. They had and read all of my information to me including my spouse’s name, phone, address and a broad range for age (30-72) and income “over $60,000”.

      Reply
      1. Ken

        They just called me too,

        Mansfield Incorporated located in Mansfield, Ma(supposed). When I asked for a website they were surprisingly under construction. When I asked for them to scan in my entry form and email it to me so I could confirm it was either my or my wife’s handwriting they could not provide the actual. Shocker.

        Luckily, while waiting for the manager I found your post and told them take me off their call list and let them know that they may not have a website but the internet has their number.

        Freaking scammers!!

        Reply
        1. jik Post author

          It’s not clear that Mansfield Inc. and Vandell Communications are one and the same.

          Reply
  23. ISmellAScam

    They are now going by Mansfield, Inc. but using the exact same script (except it is now a 2011 Ford Explorer. I played along since they already had my contact info. The person who called me spoke such poor English that I had no idea what he was saying. He told me I won all four prizes but i had to come in to pick one of them. I asked him why I had to pick one if I had won all four prizes. He kept reading his script over and over still not making sense. Finally the confirmation manager came on line. I specifically asked him what else I had to give to him them when I came for the 90 minute prize reclamation. He said absolutely nothing was needed. When I asked about why it took 90 to pick up a prize, he said it is because they take us into the showroom and explain all the prizes to us (I am not sure what they need to explain about $2500 in cash) and provide refreshments. I know this building. I doubt they are storing a car in there!

    Reply
  24. peggy

    got the same scenerio as most of you did call left on answering machine telling me I had won one of 4 fab prizes returned call to 1-866-312=9553 ext 127 several times finally Gloria and I talked today gonna go to Sevierville,TN to pick up my great prize tomorrow(Not) do they not think we are smart enough to know its a rip off at least dont tell people theres gonna be a meeting the next night too
    Goodness after all how many Lincolns or 45,000.00 do they think we believe they have or the other prizes either? I wasn’t born yesterday and pride myself on not being gulliable this day and time people are preying on innocent people and will do anything to make a dollar. Please don’t fall for this and realize if you can’t afford to take a vacation don’t let someone pull your leg and make you think they will give you something for nothing, it’s a fairytale. I am in VA so they must be on the move I will notify do not call list and place complaint also. It comes up Vandell Comm. and Illinois call on caller Id so let ans. machine pick up and let them pay for calls so last laugh on them, or call back play along and take up their time so they can get to fewer people. Ha act so happy and let them set up appt. and don’t show up enough people do this and they’ll be out of control over innocent people who really believe in pot of gold at end of rainbow. I run from the people set up at sites at beach and other vacation spots after telling them if I can’t afford to be there without their “help” i’ll stay home you do same and we’ll be in control.
    i

    Reply
  25. Elaine

    I did receive the same call on my voice mail from Van Dale Communications at 866-312-9552 ext. 243. When I called back they told me to leave a detailed message and that someone would get back to me.
    I immediately registered a complaint with the Do Not Call Registry. Thanks to everyone for their comments alerting me of this scam. As a result of all the comments,
    I registered a complaint with the Do Not Call Registry.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I got a letter in the mail with US Airways logo. Not Southwest. Obviously a scam. Don’t waste your time.

      Reply
  26. Heather

    Wow!! Exact, word for word. From Vandell Communications, Jane at ext. 109, claiming we had entered a contest and won 1 of the top 4 prizes. Really? Didn’t think this was real, but I am SO glad for the internet to confirm all this garbage. I will be filing a complaint.

    Reply
  27. L. Donald

    I got a call from either GLOBAL DISCOVERY or MOBILE DISCOVERY…i couldn’t tell which due to their thick accents. Funny thing is, they called me, and my twin sister at the same time trying to convince us both that we won the same prize…hahah false.

    Reply
  28. Wallace

    Got another call from Vandell…said sorry we have called the wrong number. Tried calling back…number on caller i.d. is not a working number. VC has called before. Just reported them to DNC as well as FCC. Everyone needs to report these scam artists…and hang up on them.

    Reply
    1. Tina

      We have received at least 4 calls from Vandell Communications, Andre at ext 109. All with the same claim that we have signed up for something and won one of the top 4 prizes, etc. I’m glad I found this web site with everyone’s comments and will be notifying the FCC and Do Not Call list. I tried calling them back from my work phone, but only got a voicemail. These people need to be stopped.

      Reply
    2. KB

      Got a call today at 5:11pm from Jane at Vandell Communications. Said her Number is 1-866-312-9553 Extension 109. Caller ID said call came from 708-566-5294. She gave us the same message about winning one of the top four prizes and knowing that we are on the Do Not Call List. Glad I googled before returning the call. Reported it to FCC & Do Not Call Registry.

      Reply
  29. brian

    vandel communication called me “christhor” i won!!!! really who believes this stuff… dont believe just report these people .. what a ^%$#$$##@ joke… i own this pretty island in the gobi desert i can sell you real cheap
    blue seas lots of fishing only $1.00 … just think someone believes these people …. just report the scam and dont get cought up in the mess>>>>

    Reply
    1. jonezy

      Wow! I received the same scam phone call yesturday 4/29 and was schdueled to visit the suite today at 3pm but my husband and I changed our mind…at the last minute. Her name was Octavia… called Id listed the number as 773 358-1470 under the name of Mark Faithful..They almost had us. Thanks…

      Reply
    2. cindy

      I received a call yesterday from a woman who had a tough time relaying the information because her accent and the wireless phone she was using kept breaking up! I hung up and she immediately called back to ask why I hung up on her. I told her I was not interested she kept pushing. I made an appointment and then went to the internet to google it. “Premiere Corporation, 800 South Main St, Mansfield, MA. From what I pulled up it was a Travel Group out of Florida. “Michael” called back today to confirm I told him I was all set and did not care to sit through a presentation. He assured me it was not (but why would it take 90 minutes to claim a prize). He was quite pushy stating he asked me if I had any concerns or questions I should have addressed those the day before. He said it was a company out of Canada promoting their company that sold everything from electronics to household merchandise. I cancelled.

      Reply
      1. cindy

        related to my previous post: Phone numbers used were: 386-569-8745 unknown name and 508-369-369-8754 Rose Sokolinski

        Reply
    3. Pam

      I just got one of those scam calls (Vandell Communications) as well and thought wtf, do people actually fall for that crap. My call was word for word what the original post was. I am guessing some people unfortunately fall for it. Thanks for whomever posted this on the web.

      Reply
  30. Harry

    Frances Davis
    [address removed; I’m not sure why the commenter posted a full mailing address here, but I don’t think that’s appropriate. – ed.]
    (708) 825-1518

    Claims that she called the wrong number.

    Reply
    1. Missy

      David P Davidson from Crete, IL called me. Hmmm…. he announced himself as Andre in his voice message……

      I have received 3 messages to date and today’s was a gem. “I know you’re on the Do Not Call List but this is not a solicitation”. Oh yea?
      I NEVER fill out entry forms for cars or “‘whatever”. Who wants to deal with the taxes!!!

      And, by the way, has anyone at Vandell ever left a message with my name? “Hello Mr/Mrs/Ms Blah Blah, this is “Andre” from Vandell Communications.” NOT!!!!

      I will be reporting them. Come join me!

      Reply
  31. B Jones

    Thanks for all the heads up. I got a call that also said I won either a car, cash, vacation or a TV. With two kids in college, I thought even if it’s only a TV – I’ll go and listen to their presentation. I knew it was for time share or vacation share type thing, but could have benefited from any award, so still was willing to spend the time. After reading these posts – I’ve decided to not go in – (even though the strongest tactics to get me on board, couldn’t have yielded a sale for them from me being that I’m college poor) – but I’ve yet to see/read anyone’s post that they actually won anything beyond the TV. Don’t need a TV that badly and can’t afford another cable hook up anyway – ha.

    Reply
  32. SYLVIA

    I GOT A CALL FROM VANDELL COMMUNICATIONS AND WHEN I CALLED BACK, THE MESSAGE SAID I WAS CALLING ANDRE AT 866-312-9553 EXT. 109. SO I TOO WILL NOT BE ANSWERING THE CALL. I ALSO HAVE DIRECTBUY CALLING ME ALL THE TIME. ALL THESE PEOPLE CALLING ME AND I CHANGED MY NUMBER, I JUST GET NEW CALLERS NOW.

    Reply
  33. Cindy

    I called the number on behalf of my mother who had the same message on her machine. They answered as “Vandell Communicatons.” Sure enough, when I said that she was over 67 and not married, they said she was not eligible to claim the prize. Definitely a scam!

    Reply
  34. JV

    Largo , FL 3/31 9:26am call from Christopher… same bull… and Chris has a new number and ext. 866-312-9553 x109

    Reply
    1. cd

      We are in Largo, FL also, and got 3 messages from Christopher at Vandell Comm this week as well, same MO, same phone number.
      We will report to FCC, Nat’l DNC, and the Florida Dept of Law Enforcement Fraud division.

      Reply
      1. Mrs.H

        I live in brandon florida ,my caller was Dennis everything that has been said, was said to me. We have appt. Thursday to pick up our sctatch off tickets to see what prize we won LOL wonder how many people have actually thought this is legit

        Reply
        1. M&M

          Good ol Dennis! Well Mrs. H, did u go?! What did your scatch off ticket reveal? LOL

          Reply
  35. Mr A

    Donna I also live in the Tampa Bay Area (Clearwater) and got the same call at 12:40 3/30/2011, I dont know why I am writing this response when I should be calling Christopher back on this time sensitive issue in order to claim my prize. Ha Ha

    Reply
  36. Jason Tyson

    I received a call by Christopher as well, attend a very exciting awarding and prsentation that I thought was one of those timeshare scams….And came out with a very nice 32inch FlToshiba Flat screen T.V. I notice that most of the negative comments are posted by poeple that have not attend, but just gotta a call!

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      Please note the following important information about this comment from “Jason Tyson” and the previous one from “lisa jones”:

      • They were posted just a few minutes apart.
      • They were posted from almost exactly the same internet address.
      • They were posted from exactly the same kind of browser on exactly the same kind of device.
      • Neither commenter provided an email address.

      In short, both comments were almost certainly in reality posted by the same person. When someone feels compelled to post two “testimonials” under different names, it’s a pretty good bet that they’re lying.
      Of course, Mr. “Tyson” or Ms. “Jones” should feel free to prove me wrong by emailing me verification of his/her identity. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen.

      Reply
  37. lisa jones

    Well I had a call and attended the venue being hosted by sponser company and left with a fabulous vacation package …this event did not appear to be a scam to me! It was very informative.

    Reply
  38. Donna

    Just received a call this morning from Vandell Communications this morning. Exact same script as above. I live in the Tampa Bay area. So they must be calling us this week. I will be reporting to Do Not Call and FTC. Glad I did some research before I called back. The internet is a wonderful thing!

    Reply
  39. jerry anderson

    Just received a phone message from Vandell Group (773-891-5579)
    at 4:30 this afternoon (3/25/11) telling us we won 1 of 4 major prizes,
    with the top prize being a car. We supposed had entered a drawing some
    12-18 months ago. Asked us to return a call to 877-279-3457 X 243.
    Name used was Michelle. Exact same recorded message as shown in the
    above comm. dated 10/29. White pages shows the number is a land line
    # in Metro Chicago.

    Reply
  40. Arnie

    As to Vandell (they lie):

    About Us
    Vandell Communications, formerly the Mitchell Communication Group, LLC, is a marketing company with a distinguished list of over 40 companies located throughout the country. Our main marketing activity is the purchase “responded leads” to generate potential customers for our clients.

    “Responded leads” are leads that were actually completed by an individual. These leads are generated when people enter contests or fill out survey cards at events and locations includings auto shows, shopping malls, garden shows, boats, bridal shows, Taste of Chicago, and Internet pop ups, just to name a few.

    We respond to these leads by calling the person who filled out the form in order to verify that the information on the form is correct. In most cases the forms that were filled out enter the person into a contest for a vehicle or a vacation getaway.

    Reply
  41. Peggy

    Rec’d call today from Chris, same exact message as above. Will report.

    Reply
  42. John

    I live in Tampa Bay area and have been getting calls from Mitchell Communications (call ID). Once they left a message that I had won a car and to return the call. However, I have answered three times and each time a person apologizes and states that they have the wrong number. I imagine that they only want to leave a message and have returned calls.

    Reply
  43. EJ

    Just received a voice message from “Vandell Communication”, although the caller ID listed the call as coming from “Mitchell Communications”.
    The script is the same as provided above in your October 29, 2010 posting with the exception that the caller identified himself as “Christopher” and the return call number provided was “866-312-9553 ext. 109”.
    So it appears that they are now hitting the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
    They must have a lot of gullible people returning their calls if they are continuing to run this scam. Fortuneately, I have caller ID and I don’t answer sales calls.
    The script is definitely fraudulent. I NEVER fill out entry forms for raffles, etc. I don’t provide any of my personal information to anyone for this type of drawing or gambling or game of chance.
    PEOPLE …wise up. “A fool and their money are soon parted.”

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      EJ, I received the message and actually called back because I wanted to record as much information from my discussion to report them to the FCC & the Do Not Call Registry. I was able to ask the clarifying questions with “Octavia” of Vandell Communications. I made the conversation sound like an interested party then stated “no thanks.” I just spent the last 30 minutes filing the onlien reports to those two agencies. I encourage others to do so, too. Also, I’m not in FL so they’re not discriminating.

      Reply
  44. Bill

    Guess I must be the sucker of the group. I attended a presentation in Las Vegas by, you guessed it, VIP Software. We fell for it, hook line and sinker, but fortunately were able to stop our credit card payment from going through but not the loan agreement we frauduantly signed. So now we have a collection agency after us. UDS out of St. Josephs MO. Ya think maybe they are in bed with VIP Software????

    Reply
    1. Marca

      I just filled a complaint with both KS & MO attorney general. The only complaints they had were for the no call list. Why isnt anyone sending this to BBB or Attorney gerneral? Did you get your money back? I also fell for it. Dumb me

      Reply
  45. JJF

    Oh, by the way add:

    VIP Software as one of their aka names for this scam in Kansas City, MO and KS.

    Lets make sure we get ALL their names out!!!

    Reply
  46. JJF

    Got the same line but from a company named VIP Software. Same script and same results. Was a lot of money but when they though they had me hooked, they reduced the price by over 80% and an additional 2k for being a vet. Never asked me to prove it. Boy you could see it in their face when we declined even the much discounted membership. Watch out for VIP Software. BBB was this was one of the alias’s they were using

    Reply
  47. Bethe

    I’ve been getting these calls for 2 weeks and had no clue what they were. I was saving their messages, but didn’t return or answer the calls. I just got one that I actually answered, and they hung up? I’m guessing that was a machine finding out what time I answer the calls. Mine are coming from a 708 area code and show on caller id as Vandell Com Grp. Thank you for the info! I’ll definitely report the next call.

    Reply
  48. Jenn

    I too spoke with someone today, his name was Darryl and he said he was calling from Arizona. He wanted to set an appt for tomorrow. I know all too well of these phone scammers. When I asked of the name of their company..”Perfect Marketing”!!

    Reply

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