In our search for a cheap or low cost cruise we often become victims of cruise scams.
The word scam is a slang term meaning to cheat or swindle, as in a confidence game.
To swindle is to get money or property from (another) under false pretenses.
Confidence game refers to a swindle made possible by gaining the confidence of the victim.
Cruise swindles are usually offers of a two or three night cruise for an unbelievable low price. These offers are usually by postal mail but may also include e-mail.
In addition, especially in tourist destinations with high foot traffic, you may see someone dressed in a cruise ship type uniform selling cruises for an unbelievable low price.
Regardless of the offer, you will hear what sounds like a great explanation as to why the price is low.
You may hear that the low price is an introductory offer. You may also hear that the offer is limited in quantity or some other way.
With most types of travel frauds, you hear that you must act quickly or miss a great opportunity. However, no matter the explanation given, your best course of action is to say NO. This is especially true if you do not have time to verify the offer.
An unbelievable low price cruise offer (received through the mail or via text) may come from a legitimate source. If you like the offer, the only safe course of action is to verify the information before you pluck down your hard-earned money.
You should call the cruise line to verify every detail. NOTE: Do not call the phone number on the offer. Their caller ID or dedicated phone line may alert them as to how to answer the call. A call you think is going to a State side company may go to an overseas operation.
Additionally, call both the consumer protection division and the office of the Attorney General of the state from which you received the offer.
Inquire if there have been complaints. Ask specifically about the company that sent you the offer.
The above actions are small steps to take in exchange for protecting your hard-earned money. Arm yourself with a lot of external information before you send money or use your credit card.
Do not become a victim.
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