Grab Your Boarding Pass and Head Off to........?
William Precht, of Meridian, opened the mailbox and saw an invitation from what appeared to be Alaska Airlines with the words "Final Notice - Ticket Vouchers Enclosed."
Anxiously, he opened the envelope to discover a boarding pass and the statement that he'd been selected to receive two round trip airfares within the continental US. Stipulation, he had to call a toll free number within 48 hours to claim this offering.
" I received this 'so-called' offer in the mail," he says. "I sent this to Alaska Airlines and they confirmed my suspicious."
BBB received several calls, emails and letters from residents across the Snake River Region stating they'd received letters offering them airfare on Alaska Airlines.
Precht says everything looks real enough, but when you look at the fine lines, the boarding pass sent out in the letter states it's for a frequent flyer.
It appears the promotion is being sent from a company in Florida: CP, West Palm Beach, Fla. Better Business Bureau has an incomplete file on this business and has requested background information, but has not received any responses.
Alaska Airlines media office confirmed this was a misuse of the companies trademark and they were not involved.
Attempts to contact CP through the number provided on the envelope went unanswered.
Travel promotional notices, typically tell the consumer they have won a "free" trip and must call a number to claim the offer.
According to BBB experiences, some bogus promoters have been known to take consumers' money, without providing the travel or trip that was promised. Other promoters advertise rock-bottom prices, but hide certain fees until the deal is sealed. Some promise luxurious accommodations and services, but deliver far less. Still others don't reveal that the deal includes an obligation to sit through a timeshare pitch at the destination. Finally, some promoters guarantee consumers that they can get a full refund if they decide to cancel the trip, but fail to make good on the promise.
Consumers are encouraged to obtain the names, addresses and telephone numbers for the lodgings, airlines and cruise ships advertised in a vacation promotion.
Fraudulent travel deals can be hard to distinguish from legitimate ones. Their intent is to lure people into buying vacations that they otherwise would not consider.
The BBB recommends that consumers get the details of the promotion in writing, including the refund and cancellation policy, before they send a check or provide credit card number information. If asked to provide a credit card or bank account number for verification or identification, the BBB says to reconsider. This information can be used to make fraudulent charges or debits to the consumer's accounts.
If you are tempted to respond to online travel solicitations, the BBB recommends that you not judge the agency solely by the appearance of its website. Online travel scams are increasing in part because it is easy to disguise your identity in cyberspace.
Find Us On