I was recently asked by a friend to confirm the validity (or determine there was fraud involved) of an Internet advertisement offering the famous "Green Pass" (Must Fly) from Southwest Airlines. You may read the advertisement and the initial email response I received when I made an inquiry, VERBATIM, below. Since I could find nothing on Google relating to any Aaron Laird in the greater New York area, and since payment was requested via adding funds to a Green Dot Mastercard, I simply requested to know the name of the "hospital" or "medical group" to which Mr. Laird (the perp.) served as a gynecologist (this was his chosen occupation when I asked him what his profession was). To confirm that he really was Aaron Laird (and not simply sending out someone else's driver's license and passport), I merely asked him to also send a recent utility bill (which is much more difficult to obtain and/or falsify if this truly was a scam). Immediately after this request, things became belligerent and threatening, as he realized "the jig was up!" While I have made a report to the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the New York area where the ID information was from, I am quite sure this "Aaron Laird" poser is nowhere near New York. In fact, I even spent a bit of extra money (again, to assure my friend that this was NOT a legitimate sale) to attempt to confirm the email address belonged to a Mr. Laird in the New York area. I was UNABLE to confirm this.
Again, below is the original advertisement, as well as "Mr. Laird's" initial email response to my inquiry:
Original Online Advertisement: For sale: four (4) Southwest Airlines green passes good for four roundtrips. Greenpasses are fully transferable (no name appears on the ticket). They have no blackout dates. And if a greenpass holder wants to catch the next Southwest flight from say, California to Florida, they can call on short notice and do so. These are fully transferable passes. Fly anytime anywhere on their route system. There are no fees to change travel dates. These are NOT standby passes; you will have a guaranteed seat on the flight you want and can even request a boarding pass 24 hours before departure to ensure you are on the A-list (first to board). These are Green Must Ride Vouchers and NOT buddy passes. Once these passes are in your hands you can fly on the same day if you wish. If there are cash seats available, then you can use these passes to secure confirmed seats regardless of what the actual airfare for those seats may cost. Each pass can be used by two people traveling one-way or can be used by one person flying roundtrip. You can even fly into one city and return from another. Remember that Southwest is the only remaining larger airline that doesn't charge for your luggage, so consider that when comparing costs on another airline. You can use these vouchers to fly to distant (over 1000 miles away) destinations. To book a seat using a greenpass, Southwest Airlines can be reached at 1-800-4359792. Tell the agent you will be using a "Non-Revenue Must Ride Greenpass". The customer service agent will give you a reference number and you must have that number and the greenpass with you when you check in at the airport. All four passes are valid for travel until May 28, 2011. If you need one, my asking price is $185 for a roundtrip pass. If you take at least two (or all four), i can reduce this to $175 per roundtrip pass with free overnight shipping. To help you understand how a greenpass works, attached to this ad is a picture of one of the passes showing instructions. Payment is by either by check or, if you need the passes shipped asap, by express deposit into my mastercard account. Thanks.
Then here is the initial response by email to my inquiry:
I have a total of six roundtrip Southwest Airlines Green Passes available for sale.My wife works for Southwest and she gets a roundtrip Green Pass every month. They must be used for travel before they expire. These are the dates when they will expire:November 10, 2011 (4 pass)December 6, 2011 (2 passes)There are no additional fees to be paid to Southwest when using these tickets. These are fully transferable passes. Are you familiar with how Southwest Green Passes work? A Green Pass is a roundtrip unrestricted and totally flexible ticket. A picture of one of these passes is attached to this email with instructions on it to show you exactly how it works. Each Green Pass is valid for one roundtrip on any Southwest Airlines flight. If two persons are travelling then you can split a roundtrip Green Pass into two one-way passes, so you basically get two one-way seats.HOW TO USE A SOUTHWEST AIRLINES GREEN PASS :To book a seat using a Green Pass, all you need to do is call Southwest Airlines (1-800-4359792) and tell the agent you will be using a "Non Revenue Must Ride Green Pass". (you can even do this now while reading this email)The customer service agent will ask for the passenger's names and travel dates. At the end of the call, you will be given a confirmation or reference number and you must have that number, your ID and the green pass with you when you check in at the airport. Again, attached to this email is a picture of one of the Green Passes explaining how to use them. When you call Southwest, please advise the Southwest agent that you will be using NRMR GREEN PASSES (the NON-REVENUE MUST-RIDE type of pass).These passes have no restrictions and no fees are to be paid to the airline. It's $200 if you need just one Green Pass. If you take at least two, I can reduce this to $180 for each Green Pass (and I can reduce this further to a final $170 if you take at least five or all six). Fedex overnight shipping is included. You don't have to pay me extra money for overnight shipping. It's included in the ticket price.Again, anyone can use the passes. They are fully transferable and there are no blackout dates, no standby, no wait-list, which means you can fly anytime.If you look at the picture attached to this email, you will see that the part where it says "passenger name" is blank (leave this blank please, Southwest's airport staff will fill out the ticket when you check in at the airport). The picture also shows that the itinerary is "open" which means you can use these Green Passes to fly to any airport served by Southwest Airlines.Payment is either by check or, if you need the Green Passes shipped out to you asap, by greendot deposit into my mastercard account which can be done easily at most retail locations. I can also meet up on any Friday if you know anybody here in the Katonah or Bedford (NY) area. If none of these options suit you, you can buy your tickets elsewhere. I am not interested in going through hassles.Payment details will follow in my next email. I am not interested in transacting with difficult people and will ignore emails that appear to come from difficult buyers.Thanks.Aaron-- (((REDACTED)))
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