PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Lauretta Gardner, of Lincoln Place, went to her mailbox, she was pleasantly surprised to find a letter offering something for free.
“Right away, I thought, gee, I won something. I never win anything,” she told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
“Free tickets to either Kennywood, Idlewild or Cedar Point, and accommodations to go there.”
The letter offers hotel accommodations for two nights and tickets for four by a company called U.S. Theme Park Adventures in Champion, Pennsylvania.
Gardner tried to call the number in the letter.
“They just say to leave a message with your phone number, and we’ll call you back,” she said.
The letter does look genuine with the corporate logos of the amusement parks.
KDKA went to Kennywood to find out what they knew about this letter.
The simple answer. Not much.
The letter has been issued completely without their authorization, and the fact is there not sure whether it’s a scam or not.
“If it appears to be too good to be true, it probably is,” says Kennywood spokesman Nick Paradise.
Paradise has heard from others about this letter.
“They’re promising some great things like tickets, hotel, even some money. But what they don’t tell you, and typically, what you see is, you have to go through a very high-pressure sales pitch,” says Paradise. “There are strings attached that are not necessarily printed in that letter.”
KDKA could not reach anyone at U.S. Theme Park Adventures, but the fine print on their website requires attendance at an open house presentation by both spouses or partners and demands a $50 validation deposit in advance.
Gardner says she was almost taken in, but, she noted, “It sounds wonderful, but I don’t think it is, and I’m sure it isn’t.”