Who’s Who? Hard to tell with “Princeton” marketing scam

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wow! I've been tagged for inclusion in the "Princeton Who’s Who Registry," and now I feel like a big deal. Don't—we repeat DO NOT—fall for this vanity scam or you will end up with an $800-plus charge. Bottom line: Never reveal your credit card, debit or bank account numbers or other personal information to someone who emails you or calls you on the phone. A member of Consumer Action's staff recently received this email, which has absolutely no connection to Princeton University, the august institution based in New Jersey:

Welcome! You were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to be listed in the 2009/2010 online Princeton Who’s Who Registry among Executives and Professionals. We are pleased to inform you that your candidacy was approved. Your prompt response is needed to ensure your correct professional information. For accuracy purposes, please be sure to visit your personal application to verify your biographical information at:

http://mywhoswhoapplication99.com/55 (links to: http://eliteprofessional.info/go.php/465039/16164676/3090717)

The office of the Managing Director appoints individuals based upon a candidate’s current position, and usually with information obtained from researched executive and professional listings. The Director thinks that you may make an interesting biographical subject, as individual achievement is what Princeton Who’s Who is all about. Upon final confirmation, you will be listed among thousands of accomplished individuals in the Princeton Who’s Who Registry. Remember, your listing is a privilege, and not based on paying a fee. On behalf of the Managing Director, we look forward to your appearance in this year’s edition. Best wishes for continued success.

Sincerely, Jennifer Rivera, Editor

Notice how it says there is no fee? Those who respond discover that they are urged to upgrade to a "premier level" at a cost of $800. "Shan," writing on the Responsible Marketing blog, was taken in and charged $878.95 on January 5, 2009. Another writer said he was told that he couldn't be included in the registry because he did not have a credit card. Ha! Buyer Be Scared and don't let your vanity get you scammed!



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