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Vacation Package Scams
By Veronica Dietrich | firstname.lastname@example.org
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Sergeant Barbee is referring to vacation scams, and they're happening in our area.
An Amarillo couple received a very suspicious letter in the mail.
"That right there, just said ya know, something's wrong."
Betty Smith and her husband tell us they got a card in the mail offering a cruise for 8 days and 7 nights, and if they would respond within 72 hours, they'd get free round trip airfare.
Smith tells us, "I called them and they said you have to attend this 90 minute seminar, and we will give you your vouchers. So we went to the Country Inn out on Soncy and attended their seminar."
She says the four men running the seminar said it was more than $8,900 to join the program, which was a red flag for the Smiths.
Betty then found a site called LTS Travel where people act as travel agents, offering so called hard to miss deals on cruises, time shares, and airfare all around the country.
Barbee says if you're even the least bit suspicious, do your homework.
He says, "you can very easily check into these things. You watched here, we spent thirty seconds on the computer."
30 seconds is all Betty needed.
Smith says, "I researched it online and every place, the same scenario, they offer this. The vouchers are no good, they don't send the vouchers, you cannot get a hold of the company. And it was one after another. 49 complaints, 36 complaints, scam scam scam. "
Smith says scammers tend to target young people and older people.
There were 4 young couples at the seminar, and she had some advice for them.
"Like everyone says, if it sounds to goo dto be true, it is. You don't get anything for free."
Smith tells us, after doing some research, she's discovered Arizona and Florida are two states really known for these types of vacation package scams.
Sergeant Barbee tells us though, that telephone scams are the most common scams in the area, but once one vacation scam is reported, many soon follow.