Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lee papers fall for scam ad

The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, Ariz., and The Journal Times in Racine, Wis., have fallen for a deceptive ad selling "state currency." The ad, which looks like a newspaper story, offers four $2 bills for $12 during an unspecified 48-hour period, after which the price escalates to $17 per bill.

The Arizona Daily Star ran the full-page ad on Jan 18, then wrote a story about the scam on Jan. 27.

Racine Post reports that the Journal Times ran the same ad (for Wisconsin instead of Arizona and seen above) on March 6. The Racine Post called the number in the ad and did the math: The World Reserve Monetary Exchange is offering 50 $2 bills, worth $100, for $588.

The bills that the World Reserve Monetary Exchange is selling are not special -- they are $2 bills, legal U.S. tender, with stickers to change the background behind President Thomas Jefferson and to add a state name. They are worth $2; the value will not increase over time. In fact, it could decrease if the stickers are not easy to remove. There is no state program to change the appearance on any U.S bill. (There are various programs that change the appearance of coins.)

(Via e-mail)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say "Lee papers fall for scam ad," rather Lee corporate actively solicits ads for such scams. (My favorite is the 'Amish fireplace,' which is just an overpriced electric heater.) The sentiment seems to be: 'Who cares if our readers get ripped off?'
If local advertisers learned what a deep discount these shysters get for a full page ad in Lee papers they'd be upset too.
It's been going on for a decade at least.