When an opportunity knocks, grab it. But, not from Opportunities Unlimited Publications.

I recently got two certificates (which look like those stock or debenture certificates of old) in my PO box from Opportunities Unlimited Publications telling me I had won AUD15,000.

All I have to is to answer a qualifying no-brainer question like –

“If the Director of Prize Releases contacted You with a NOTICE OF AWARD totalling $8,500,360 and you decided to Equally share this significant amount with a friend, HOW MUCH Would Each of You Receive?

and then send my answer together with $25 discounted fee to Opportunities’ Kansas City address.

I knew of course that this kind of windfall is just too good to be true. We have seen similar scams, but since this is the first time we received this notices from Opportunities, I thought I do a little digging.

A quick google for “Opportunities Unlimited Publications” yielded 1,590,000 results. I have browsed only the first few few search pages all of which issued a warning that Opportunities Unlimited Publications is a “scam”, a “rip-off” and the like which confirm our initial impressions. (See screenshot of Google’s search results on this page)

Opportunities Unlimited Publications also holds the “distinction” of being one of the few scams discussed in NSW Parliament.

Here is an extract from the Parliament’s Hansard transcript with quotes from Ms Diane Beamer, then member of Parliament for Mulgoa, in 2006:

“Today I wish to bring to the attention of honourable members two new mail scams originating in North America and surfacing in letterboxes in New South Wales…. and the other is a get-rich-quick contest emanating from Kansas. Both scams lure people with promises of large rewards from a small investment, but in the end they take people’s money and return nothing.

“… Contest America Publishers Inc., trading as Opportunities Unlimited Publications, is a Kansas-based company. The company’s letters suggest that people can win a guaranteed prize of $13,230 for answering a simple question and by paying a $23 entry fee by credit card. But people are not told it is a game of skill and that they actually have to answer a series of increasingly difficult questions. People have to pay another fee each time they want to progress through the contest, before they are eventually eliminated. The process can take a year. The Office of Fair Trading inspectors have come across people who have paid a $23 fee more than 100 times, convinced that they have the correct answer and will receive a windfall.

“No amount of pleading will convince people that they are being scammed. With the Opportunities Unlimited scam there is also a risk of their credit card details being stolen. Perhaps Opportunities Unlimited should rename itself Scams Unlimited. My advice to people who receive letters from mail scammers is to throw the very first letter in the bin. One reply puts you on hundreds of mailing lists for hundreds of scams. The advice I give in relation to all mail scams is: Throw the first letter in the bin!”

That was almost six years ago. And recently, Opportunities Unlimited has resurfaced.

Here are copies of those stock certificates-like notices that I “won” $15,000 (or is it $20,000 – the Opportunities notices were not even clear!):

If you get something in your mailbox from Opportunities Unlimited Publications, I think you know what to do.

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