It's A Miracle! This Free Digital TV Converter Box Will Cost Me $100

We know you’re too smart to fall for this ridiculously fraudulent digital TV converter offer, but maybe you know someone who’s not wise to the facts of the upcoming switch to digital TV—specifically that converter boxes cost less than $100, and that you can get a government coupon to offset $40 of that cost. Universal TechTronics—the same scam outfit behind those “Amish” Heat Surge miracle fireplaces—is now conning the less knowledegable with their “free” converter box offer: pay nothing but a warranty and shipping, bringing the total cost to anywhere between $68 and $97. The Los Angeles Times says this is “the first large-scale [converter box] scam the Better Business Bureau has seen.”

Universal TechTronics calls the converter box the “Miracle ClearView TV,” and promises “No Bills: New ClearView TV receives free channels, no need to pay for cable to get the new digital picture quality and sound.” These guys really like the word “miracle.”

“They’re really targeting the senior citizens who are going to be confused and not up-to-date on the technology,” said Alison Preszler, a spokeswoman for the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The ad is designed to look like a news article and features that smiling older gentleman displaying his actual warranty certificates. The Better Business Bureau has seen the ad appear in newspapers in Portland, Ore.; Memphis, Tenn.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Charlotte, N.C.; and the state of Ohio.

“Think twice before buying a digital TV converter box from this man” [Los Angeles Times] (Thanks to Paul!)
“BBB warns of DTV converter-box scam” [Consumer Reports]
“A Sucker Is Converted Every Minute”
(Image: Los Angeles Times)