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Latest Scam Reports

Travel Cruise Scam (fake vacation packages)

In a recent report by the Federal Trade Commission, scams involving travel have been found to be among the top ranked in complaints for the past several years.  These offers can come in many forms from entering a contest at the county fair to email contacts, but they all have several things in common.  Solicitors want your personal and credit card information so they can charge fees and services while reselling your information to telemarketing companies.  These individuals often refuse to identify themselves or their companies and require that claiming prizes be delayed for at least 60 days which is the time it takes for a credit card company to cancel any charges on a card.

One of the best ways to spot a scam is to question the contact person until they begin what’s called a hard-sell.  This is where they ask questions to which an individual must answer “yes.”  For example, they may say, “Don’t you want to take a vacation in a tropical paradise?” or “Don’t you deserve a break?”  Of course you deserve a break and would love to take it in paradise.  By getting an individual to answer “yes” to a successive series of questions, they are more likely to get you to say “yes” to claiming the “prize,” which doesn’t really exist.

There are several ways to identify a scam from a legitimate promotion or contest and, in the end, following some simple rules can save you thousands of dollars as well as anxiety, aggravation, and disappointment.   It’s important to remember that some companies will offer something for free in order to get personal information that can be sold for marketing purposes.  If receiving notification by email, however, it should be deleted immediately if the sender is unknown.  If it is opened and only images are shown with no substantial information, it is more than likely a scam and spyware has probably been loaded onto your computer by the time you realize it.

With legitimate offers, vacation details should be provided in writing along with a copy of the cancellation and refund policies.  Vague terms such as “luxury cruise ship” and “major hotels” are warning signs.  You need to know where you’re going, how long you will be there, and the address and telephone numbers for all aspects of the trip.  You also need to call vendors for verification that the price quoted includes all fees.  This should be done prior to the time any personal or credit card information is provided to the solicitor.

Travel agents offering promotional trips will run credit card charges through cruise lines and not the agency they represent.  If the cruise line is not listed on the statement this should be a warning flag.  The agent should also provide the booking number that will allow access to the booking details.  These can be accessed directly through cruise line websites once the number has been provided.  This also works with airline reservations.

If the contact uses questionable language such as “You’ve won a dream vacation to a coveted destination” they aren’t really promising the trip will be free so be wary.  This is also true for verbiage such as “subject to availability” or “run of the ship” which isn’t really promising anything.  Even if a trip is won an individual should expect minimum accommodations and no amenities.  These are just a few of the things to watch for in cruise scams.  Caution is always a good policy along with remembering that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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20 Responses to Travel Cruise Scam (fake vacation packages)

  1. telemarketing says:

    excellent submit, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t realize this. You must proceed your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  2. beatricedelaflor says:

    Jacob Dominguez, Tejano Cruise, Soundwave cruises. They took $1296 dolars from me and then said they were over booked. Our trip was scheduled for Feb. 2012 and I still haven’t received my refund.

    • ricardo villanueva says:

      Jacob dominguez with soundwave cruises (tejano cruise) also took our money that was suppose to go out febuary 2012 and still havent seen our refund. He told us the same thing that it waz over booked and we were randomly selected for cancellation

    • Matthew Mungia says:

      We also had this paid for way before he was saying it was overbooked. Then he said he was processing our paper work back Jan and we still have not received our money back. This guy is a snake and we need to do something about this guy. He’s still in business and promoting different events.

      • Matthew Mungia says:

        I was also referring to Jacob Dominguez and Tejano Cruise, Soundwave Cruises, Texas Country Cruise.

        • Carol says:

          Jacab Dominguez and his so call wife/girlfriend are good scammers. found out they are not married. I too got scammed by them with the cruise and other business . I have been looking for them for two years. I am sorry they are still scamming people. So sad…

          • rick says:

            Jacob dominguez with soundwave cruise,tejano cruise,texas country cruise,kareokee cruise and now also doing business as greeto llc. Is a scammer he will take your money and you will never see a refund if you need to get a hold of him his home adress is. 9730 amber ledge
            San antonio tx 78245

  3. Paul Aguilar says:

    We are also waiting for a Refund for Tejano #3 that was suppose to be over booked. Per Jacob Dominguez we were getting a full refund plus 10% for them canceling.

  4. Angry says:

    We are also waiting for our refund. Can’t seem to find any information.

  5. rick says:

    Check this out on jacob dominguez with soundwave cruises,tejano cruise,and texas country cruise.–154250565.html

  6. Jose Angel Rodiguez says:

    I also am waiting on a refund for tejano cruise 3 plus 10%. Jacob is a sorry scam artist who can’t be reached in any way. I’m expecting about 1500.00 (this includes a t-shirt I purchased)

  7. Lisa says:

    Jacob Dominguez also cancelled my $1400 reservation for the February 2012 tejano cruise. Overbooked and refund promised plus 10% cancel compensation. No refund as of yet. He supposedly did the same with the country cruise which was to happen in August.

  8. Liz Hernandez says:

    We were also scammed by Jacob Dominguez and are on the C.A.S.A. website. We need a way to get our money back. How can he just take our money and get away with it? I have been trying to contact the latino attorney organizations to see if someone would help us with a Class Action Suit.

    • joan says:

      stay away from that “you just won an the trip to the Bahamas” just give us your credit card or debit card number for the taxes and fees (59.00) you have 18 months to take your trip. first off if you won it you don’t pay anything for it. I did really win a trip to the bahamas and the taxes and fees are collected when actually take the trips. once they get your card numbers you are Trucked up but good.

  9. Laur says:

    Has anyone heard of a company that gets you are transfered to by, for ex., calling HSN tv? They claim my winning a 2 day trip 2 the Bahamas, sailing on a Celebrity Cruise Ship, named “Bahama Celebration.” (You only pay $59 pp, and have won up to 4 tickets to go. Then, should 2 days not be a long enough vacation, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, or extended Bahama trips to stay at an Oceanfront room, in the Grand Lucya Beach and Resort Club. This ENTIRE TRIP COSTS $667,that could be shared by the other 1,2,or 3 people! (So, except for your airfare, they say 4 people could be going for a 7 day,6nt. trip, for $167 ea.)! Sounds too good, rt.? But they want this non-returnable $ at that time ONLY! U 3 years to take this trip, which is transferrable. I did go further once, and was sent to the beautiful website for the hotel in the Bahamas and Cruise(both which R real). The only expectation is that you “tell your friends and family what a good time you had, so that they will get their name out just by word of mouth! THEY DO NOT WORK FOR CARIBBEAN CRUISE LINE, BUT HAVE BEEN HIRED BY THEM TO FILL THEIR NOT QUITE FILLED SHIP OR RELATED HOTELS. The only place you pay for food is in the Bahamas! Drinkers are on their own for the trip!It does seem like the more you r hesitant to give your c.c.#, the more offers seem to come to make the pot sweeter! Free food, car in Fla., help for anything…including handicapped scooters/devices for the trips (But what if it’s not, while stuck in the Bahamas? We are Disabled and Chronically ill)! Upgraded rooms also come, and finally $50 for the cruise gambling area!
    Obviously, I didn’t do this a 2nd time, since I was born into a family who is rather distrustful, and believes you get what you pay for! If anyone has info. on this Cruise Extravaganza, please leave me a reply! Thanks!

  10. Walton Scott says:

    I’d also add to this that make sure you’re able to phone them back. If you can’t call back, its a scam. Also some deals DO get sweeter the more hesitant you are. Sometimes this can be smart on your part. If they are helpful, have specifics, and a working number to call back on then you might want to hold out until they can no longer offer you more. This way you can actually get a good deal with perks if you find the right company. Beware of “Vacation Tour and Travel,” “World Premier Travel,” and “E-Tour and Travel” although I have not been scammed, friends have. Mostly its putting you in a bad motel in a bad part of town.

    There’s another one called “start saving on travel.” I read one bad review from someone in canada, but only after I’d paid “a branch office” in Texas $700 for a package with 4/3 in Gatlinburg and 4/3 in Pigeon Forge (canadian person got something in florida, which they had, but I didn’t like it, since I don’t like florida). However, to my surprise I actually did get it in the mail, and was able to go and stay at the resorts they’d told me I was. Only draw back was a timeshare presentation (which didn’t bother me cause its fun to screw with sob timeshare salesmen), and they gave me a ton of “optional” trips to take, but only three years to use them all.

    Oh, and if you do get a call from them, a tip from experience, don’t agree to anything or even sound interested until they throw in buy one get one plane ticket, or look up their website and give them a call.

  11. Gloria Cantu says:

    We were also scammed by Jacob Dominguez,Tejano Cruise. We paid him $1,650.74 only for him to cancel us and never refund our money.Hoping SAPD will get him

  12. cassie H says:

    Hi Laur and Walton Scott, I just wanted to share my thoughts. I actually just received that call about the exact offer u mentioned Laur. Just got call yesterday 8/5/13 offering this Bahama trip on the “Carribean Celebration Cruise line” staying at the same resort u mentioned. They did throw in the buy 1 get 1 free airfare and extended stay package etc. I called the customer care line they gave me and did get through to a Corporate member of this cruise line. He listened to my concerns and offered an even lower price for the same trip that was offered previously this day to me. Did the company give u a website with ur name to review and plan out ur trip w/ur traveling companions? The guy said my website will be up by the comming wednesday so i can look it over then decide if I still want to cancel. Im feeling like it could be legit.. but gonna decide after i see the website I think. Feel free to e-mail me back, im still looking for more info myself.

  13. Krystal M says:

    Is this still a scam? I was offered this awesome cruise deal recently and I can’t afford to lose any money? Is there a reward to turn this guy in?

  14. Leticia Riojas says:

    We were also scammed by Jacob Dominguez, we also are waiting for our refund for The Tejano Cruise 3, being overbooked, which actually turned out to have been cancelled by him instead, according to Carnival. We had found others who were scammed by Jacob D & his wife, on his Tejano Cruise FB page he forgot to take down for awhile, so my husband had started a FB page, that way we could keep in touch with each other, power in numbers! Look for C.A.S.A & become a member. We are trying to get a criminal investigation started against him, civil we found wouldn’t make him pay or refund.

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