Avoid Travel Club Fraud – Consumer Reports News

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Judging by recent state actions, travel club fraud is alive and well.

Last month, the Illinois attorney general filed a lawsuit against a Kansas-based company and two of its Chicago-area sales agents who the state says defrauded Illinois residents on at least $80,000 for their membership in a bogus travel club that failed to deliver the promised vacation. destinations worldwide.

The state accused the Global Discovery Vacation Program of charging up to $8,000 in upfront payments and $398 in annual fees. But instead of offering discounts, the state claimed, the club charged consumers even more money to book vacations.

A month earlier, a Denver court ordered Sea to Ski Vacations and its owners to pay more than $7 million in consumer fines and restitution. Colorado’s attorney general said despite charging customers up to $9,000 for deep discounts on condos and cruises, Sea to Ski deals were no better than what consumers could buy on popular Internet travel sites.

“According to testimony from former employees, Sea to Ski employees routinely used Expedia and Priceline to book travel while claiming to work with an exclusive travel service provider,” a statement released by the state reads.

That same month, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced that it had filed a lawsuit against two former Bloomfield-based travel agencies and computer operators, whom it accused of accepting nearly $1 million from payments from 241 customers and then failing to deliver the promised overseas trip. provisions.

“It was only after the clients had arrived at the hotels in Rome that they learned that the defendants had failed to pay for accommodation and other accommodations for which they had prepaid hundreds or thousands of dollars,” the state said in announcing the lawsuit against Crown Travel Services. Inc., also known as Club ABC Tours, and an affiliate, ABC Destinations LLC.

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