Monday, April 11, 2016

New Consumer Alert

From our friends at Inside the Gate:

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a consumer alert warning Floridians and visitors of an ongoing scam offering fraudulent promotional vacation packages. Following the travel industry reporting a sharp increase in the number of complaints related to fraudulent Florida vacation packages, the department advises consumers to be wary of robocalls, emails or faxes offering promotional vacation packages purported to have been offered by legitimate travel agencies, such as Expedia, Travelocity, TripAdvisor and more.

Unfortunately no names of the alleged offenders were released along with the alert, but perhaps that is still to come. In the meantime, consumers can protect themselves against travel/vacation scams with the following tips: Find out if the seller of travel is registered with the department and if any complaints have been filed against it. Never give out credit card or checking account numbers over the phone unless the consumer initiated the call and is certain of the company’s credentials. Read the entire contract thoroughly, ask questions and do not sign it if there is any doubt. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Go directly to the legitimate travel booking company website, such as or, and contact the company’s customer service department to confirm the promotion.

Consumers who believe fraud has taken place can contact the department’s consumer protection and information hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832). - See more at:

Or you could just hang up on cold callers.

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