Too good to be true: BBB warns of vacation scheme

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The Cleveland Better Business Bureau has issued a warning concerning a particular “discount travel offer” being faxed to businesses across the country.

The offer appears to promise deluxe accommodations at destinations like Hawaii, Cancun and Jamaica for just $119 per person.

Sue McConnell, senior vice president with the Cleveland BBB said even their offices received the fax.

She said the fax came from “Express Vacations Center,” and “included all kinds of extras: 4 and 5 star resorts, unlimited meals and drinks etc.”

McConnell said the deal sounds too good to be true and appears to be legitimate because it mentions well-known resorts and is typed on professional-looking letterhead.

She said the fax appears to be an interoffice memo and is addressed to “All Employees” and claims to be from “H.R Department.”

“Just the way they pose this fax was misleading,” said McConnell. “They make it look like a memo from your HR department hoping that it’s going into a larger corporation.”

McConnell said multiple people across the country have succumbed to the scheme.

She said they paid the money, but never received any travel vouchers or trips.

McConnell said the BBB called the company and they were hung up on when they asked about the customers’ complaints, and she said customers also got the run-around.

FOX 8 news reporter Suzanne Stratford also reached out to the company and she too was disconnected.

McConnell said if anyone receives the memo, they should report it to their employer and the BBB right away.

The BBB also offers these general vacation planning tips:

 •          Don’t be fooled by low cost or no cost vacation offers. They typically fail to disclose all related fees and have many restrictions.

•          Obtain all company information. Avoid travel offers by mail, over the phone, fax, email or at a presentation that do not disclose the company’s name, location  and contacts

•          Get everything in writing before providing any payment.

•          Go to the Better Business Bureau website to check out the business

•          Read the fine print and make sure you understand the terms and conditions

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