Several years ago, when I was still in debt, I got a check for $3,000 in the mail from Beneficial. At that point, I wasn't aware of just what sort of company Beneficial was (they are now apparently out of business). I was just vaguely aware of people I've known in the past who used their services. Anyway, when I got this check, using it seemed very tempting, because I was deeply in debt. But using it would have made the problem worse, because the interest (which was in the very fine print) was about 33%.
The Other Half found the phone number in the other small print, called them up and asked the lady on the other end, "how can you sleep at night?" Of course, the lady wasn't responsible, but she was working for a predatory lender. And upon reflection, the people I'd known in the past that had used their services were also people who "rented-to-own," who were chronically late in paying their bills, and who were hiding their cars from the repo-men.
Of course, I tore up the check, just like I have with the hundreds of credit card offers over the years. But there is a new influx of junk mail, a new "tempting" offer that is probably fooling people into signing up for all kinds of stuff.
I bought a "PediPaws" pet nail care device through the internets for my brother, who is one cat away from being a crazy cat lady. Well, he's short a couple of ovaries too, but you get the drift. This item cost $19.99! But wait! There's more! For just $9.99, I could buy him a whole set of pumice stones for the thing. And by the time I clicked the purchase button, I found out that shipping was more than $20, making the total investment over $50. Just great.
You would think that PediPaws would be happy with suckering me out of $50 for something that will probably show up at Big Lots or the dollar store, but no. I've now gotten my second "check" from them, this time for $8.25. It looks very much like a rebate check, or some sort of cash-back reward. It would be very easy to disregard the very boring looking supplemental material, and simply detach the check and deposit it.
That is what they are counting on. Because if you cash this check--apparently because you gave PediPaws (or whomever the company in question is) your credit/debit card information--you now belong to "CompleteHome," a "money saving" service. Oh, and they will immediately charge you $129.99 for these amazing "$1,500 in savings" you'll get in the form of coupons. What a deal, right? They're hoping you don't read that part. They just want you to cash the piddly little check.
This reminds me of the old "Columbia House Records" scam, that gives you 12 LPs for a penny, on the hopes that you'll get lazy or forget to live up to your "obligations" so that the real money can be made off of you. Any business that relies on its customer base to be lazy and/or stupid just can't be a good company, in my opinion.
So just watch out. This trend toward signing people up for things that they are unaware of seems to be widespread. It's not just PediPaws. It can be from anything you order online. I've even heard of people who've signed up for "free" services online, only to find out that they have "service charges" now attached to their phone bills. For services they don't remember signing up for, and usually don't even know how to use. They're counting on that too.
And don't even get me started on the "expired vehicle warranty" scam phone calls. . .