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Free vacation give away scams
Beware of free vacation offers
If you receive a phone call or postcard offering a free vacation, beware. There's a good chance your dream vacation may turn into a real nightmare if you aren't careful.
The hook used in a free vacation scam
In some travel scams, the consumer is sent a postcard saying he has won a free vacation. In others, the "vacation" is one of several prizes in a sweepstakes. In most cases, the consumer is required to call a number for more details or to "claim" the prize.
In one version of the scam, the consumer is told he will receive a package in the mail detailing the vacation offer. The operator then asks for his credit card number, saying there will be a small service charge made to his account if he accepts the vacation. The consumer is assured he will have a review period to decide if he wants the package before his account is billed for the service charge. This promise usually proves to be false.
According to calls made to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline, these companies are slow in sending the vacation package materials and when they do arrive, the review period already has expired. The firm quickly bills the consumer's credit card for hundreds of dollars for its "service fee."
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