Beware of vacation scams arriving in the mail - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Beware of vacation scams arriving in the mail

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Spring is just nine days away, so it's the time for shady vacation offers to starting coming in the mail. So, how can avoid being taken by these cheap, maybe even free, vacation offers?

The offers usually are the size of a postcard, offering nearly free vacations as long as you sit through a day-long sales pitch. It can be appealing.  But, the complaints about these offers are spiking, according to the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, are spiking.

This is how it works. In some cases, you're offered free airline tickets and a free, or deeply discounted resort stay, to consider getting a travel club membership.  You join for a fee, and are supposed to get all sorts of great discounted rates at nice resorts.

According to Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, mixed into to the views of beautiful beaches and good times can be high pressure sales tactics, and promises that are never kept.

Here's your checklist for making sure you don't get ripped off, Before you give anybody your credit card information ask for all of those promises made during the sales pitch in writing. If you win a "free" prize, do not pay a fee to get it.  According to the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, that is illegal. Free is free. If you have second thoughts, you have the right to cancel within 72 hours.

John Sours, who runs the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, says that often times these things are a set-up from the word go.

"You'll be in a group of 15-25 people including one shill In the audience who talks about how wonderful this is and how glad they're there. If you fall for this, you spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on something that you could have gotten on your own," said John Sours.

You can always check with the Better Business Bureau to check on the companies that may be offering the deals. However, if you're willing to put in the work, you can shop on the internet for deeply discounted offers for really nice hotels and resorts.

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