OK, so if you got an offer for a credit card in the USPS mail that looked like the above, along with a letter offering “free breast implants with every card” and “free lip injections for every friend that you refer,” what would you think?
Would you think someone is playing a joke on you or would you take it seriously? Maybe even consider the offer?
If you’re like me, you get so many credit card offers in the mail every day that you just rip them up and throw them away as soon as you get them. But what if you took a minute to look at this one?
On the other hand, what if you found yourself on a website making the same offer — a website that lists a bank’s name, has a contact number, and an official application that you can fill out and submit?
Hmm, you might think. This looks legit. But, no, how can it be legit? But it’s got a designed web page and all the links on it that it should have. Nah! But what if it is? How could they make that kind of offer?
It’s odd, isn’t it, that we are more likely to believe what we see on the Internet than what we get in the regular mail. It’s odd. And it’s scary.
In this case, if one does a little digging, one discovers that you can also get to the same website using this URL, which is indicates a relationship to The Huffington Post. That says it all.
On the other hand, The Huffington Post has a link to a actual service that offers “the top political books summarized down to eight concise pages.” Really. For (a tax-deductible) $14.95 a month, you get one summary a week. Now I had to think twice about accepting that as legit. But it is.
It’s scary not to be sure what’s real and what’s not. Breasts included.
Maybe P.T. Barnum never said it, but it’s still true.