Cruise fraud warning, ouch!

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#1
Dallas, Texas
5,895 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Channel 11 in Dallas just reported that a mother/daughter team were recently discovered to have taken money from families who "thought" they were booking future cruises. One family, sadly, had been saving money long enough to save $13,000 for a family cruise. Lost it all. There were other awful rip-offs reported as well. Note to self, stick with travel agents with whom you have a history, or your cruise line of choice. Wow, $13,000...down the drain; at least for the long haul.

FYI...they showed them (the mother/daughter) on the local news; they didn't seem to care, not one whit. Sad.
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#2
Charlotte, NC
10,145 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
So was this really fraud, where they will arrest the criminals, or was this really a "going out of business" situation, where you just have disreputable business people?

When someone makes a payment, they expect it to be delivered to the cruise line, not taken by the travel agent. If the family had paid with a credit card, they could have recouped the losses.

Probably more to the story, but most likely scenario is that the travel agent spent the deposits and then went out of business, and it is a civil not a criminal issue.
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#3
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
its clearly fraud. they took money that should have been held in trust for a future event. if they used it for themselves its fraud. Its clearly what is called a ponzi type scheme(use money for someone else get people to invest in something and then pocket the money).... but this has nothing to do with NCL...

here is the link

http://cbs11tv.com/consumer/Nationwi....2.684046.html

and they have already been CONVICTED of fraud for this matter so there is no doubt on it.

the mother was sentenced to five years in Federal jail and the daughter three years. Under Federal rules you have to serve 90 % of the term no early release. There is a typo in the report its flee not fee....
#4
Peotone, IL. (South of Chicago)
2,913 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by smeyer418
its clearly fraud. they took money that should have been held in trust for a future event. if they used it for themselves its fraud. Its clearly what is called a ponzi type scheme(use money for someone else get people to invest in something and then pocket the money).... but this has nothing to do with NCL...

here is the link

http://cbs11tv.com/consumer/Nationwi....2.684046.html

and they have already been CONVICTED of fraud for this matter so there is no doubt on it.
I am sure someone will blame NCL for this and "Never cruise this line again"
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#5
Southern California
144 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Wow I was told by my travel agent NEVER pay by check because of exactly this type of scenario. Always pay by credit card.
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#6
Nashville, TN (we moved, again)
19,863 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Why would you NOT pay with a credit card? They would not have been out a cent if they had.

Silly people.

Wow, and a $13,000 cruise?
#7
San Diego
8,858 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
surprised that for 13k it was NCL and not Disney
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#8
Virginia
215 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by travelintrio
Wow I was told by my travel agent NEVER pay by check because of exactly this type of scenario. Always pay by credit card.
That's true for pretty much anything that involves big money and/or deposits or events to occur later (plane tickets, wedding dresses, etc.). If they take a credit card, use it, even if you have enough cash. Just use the card and pay it straight off. That way, if there's fraud, or if the intermediary goes bankrupt (or, for that matter, the cruise line or airline does), you dispute the payment through the credit card company. You get your money back, and the dispute is then between the vendor and the credit card folks, not you.

And, as a big warning, debit cards don't have the same protection under Federal law. It might be a Visa check card, but the rules on backcharges are vastly different, and the consumer protections fall more on the lines of general checking rules, not credit card rules.