Monday, November 06, 2006

A Warning for US Parents

The other day, my daughter received a letter from the "National Honor Roll" saying she was accepted for inclusion and would receive another letter asking for her biographical details to be added to the book showcasing those who achieved honor roll status. It stated she would then be eligible for scholarships and the notice would be sent to local papers. Well, she got the "more info" today and I was rather suspicious when it asked for her grandparents' addresses in order to "inform them of her achievement." Hmm ... so, looking further, I found the main part of the letter that dealt with book prices, rather exhorbitant book prices. Jumping online to check them out, I found out it is indeed a scam. Not only are they vanity publishers who only send out the letters in order to sell books, but they operate by sending surveys to our children's teachers, getting them to have the kids fill them out in class without parent knowledge, and returning them to this company.

The "company" isn't even located within Washington DC as the address states. It's a mailbox that redirects to New York, to a marketing firm. Once these kids send in their "biographical information," the company uses it to sell to marketers who sell products of their particular interests. So, they now have not only our children's names, but also their school name, the home address, and their interests/clubs/activities list. Teachers are handing these things out without checking into it, thinking they are helping the kids to get scholarships.

If you're a teacher or work at a school, please pass this info along! If you're a parent of a school kid with a B- or better average, watch for this scam. The National Honor Society is legitimate. The National Honor Roll is not.

These people need to be put out of business. Not only are they scamming adults for money and marketing to minors without parent knowledge, but think about how these kids feel when they realize it's a hoax. Many will never realize it. Maybe that's better, if they haven't been taken for money they can't afford.

Spread the word. Here's more info, with substantiation:

The Better Business Bureau has complaints numbered about them and has them listed as a vanity publisher.

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