Official Looking Mailings Continue

This tried and true gimmick is as old as the U.S. mail probably. Send advertising in an envelope masquerading as official mail from a government agency and recipients are more likely to open it. We’ve seen debt collectors and even political candidates utilize this sleazy scheme.

Now comes this official-looking notice about your car:

notification envelope

It comes from the “Vehicle Notification Department” in a window envelope that says it is “personal and confidential.” While many people may presume this to be junk mail, some may believe this from the state department of motor vehicles or perhaps is a recall notice from the manufacturer.

Inside, the truth is revealed.


notification letter

Scroll down the letter.

The letter inside looks pretty official and suggests that I have failed to renew my auto service contract or warranty and thus I could lose coverage. Considering that MrConsumer drives a 1996 Honda Accord, it has been decades since that all lapsed, this letter is nothing more than a bull feathers sales pitch.

Only in the smallest print on the page does it state “This is an advertisement to obtain coverage.”

Some people may have had a bit of a fright when seeing the envelope and immediately opened it … just to be fooled.

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10 thoughts on “Official Looking Mailings Continue”

  1. I get crap like this, which I can safely ignore, since I don’t even have a driver’s license and haven’t owned a car for almost twenty years.

  2. I have received the same letter for my 2010 vehicle. I’m sure if one calls later than the “Call no later than” they will make an exception for you. No where in the letter states what state is sending the letter. A scam in my opinion.

  3. My mom got one of these, she’s 91 years old, doesn’t own a car, and hasn’t driven in a decade at least. Her mind’s still sharp as a tack so she wouldn’t have been fooled anyway.

  4. The postage along should be a clue that this is bogus. Official notifications as a rule don’t use paid permits, but either actual postage or most likely a metered stamp. If you decide to open it, then the next clue is the lack of information regarding your vehicle. Had this been a legit recall or other pertinent information, then it should have your year and model listed.

    Perhaps harmless but a waste of time, there’s no commitment even if you did take the next step and call the number.

  5. Again, the sure fire way to detect spam mail is the indicia (upper right, where the stamp would be). If it says “First Class”, open it up. If it says “Standard”, it’s junk. The old Bulk Rate Mail mail was renamed to “Standard” some years ago at the urging of bulk mailers to improve open rates. No important mail will is ever sent Standard due to the 6% non-deliverability. Take it from me, an old-timer bulk mailer.

  6. I started getting these “warranty expiration notices” a MONTH after purchasing a new car last year. Of course, they went straight in the shredder.

  7. I get the occasional phone call pitching warranty coverage. If I have the time I like messing with them- car has 300,000 miles, only race it on weekends, in good condition except for a knocking noise from the engine, etc. They still will give me pricing for warranty coverage. That’s when I’ll grind them on the price, eventually telling him I’ve changed my mind.

  8. I’ve gotten letters like this where they do know the make and model. Perhaps that information is public record in my state.

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