RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Another reason tonight to do your research before you give a business your banking information. Certain signs could mean your vacation package, isn't what you think.
A flyer like these came across a work fax machine and Cynthia Grebinger believed it was legit.
"They got my $200 and my friend's $200. I've not heard from them in a month," she said.
The flyer advertised various vacation packages like a Florida vacation resort, 4-days 5-nights for $149, and a Cayman Islands luxury resort vacation, an 8-day 7-night stay for $199. Cynthia was enticed by 5-nights 6-days in Hawaii for $800. They'd have to pay the airline directly.
"I figured if I didn't do it, a good deal like this wouldn't come again. I just felt this was an awesome deal, somebody else would get it and I'll lose out. I wish I had lost out," said Cynthia said.
Cynthia researched the number on the fax after giving out her banking information and cringed at what she found. She called the vacation resort.
"They don't deal with something like that. They do their own booking," she said. "I've called the airline. They say they didn't send that out."
Online there's a ridiculously long list of complaints from people who got tangled up claiming to have lost hundreds of dollars.
"I had to make my husband wait an extra day to get his blood pressure pills until I got paid because when they debited it, they did not leave me enough money in my account to cover that," Cynthia explained.
The company showed up on her bank statement as 'Resorts in Cancun'. She thought was dealing with a business called 'Sunset'.
I gave what I know to the Better Business Bureau which tells me the company has offices in mid-town Atlanta. The listed name is 'Vacation Booking' but the phone number matches. It also has website called 'My Mexican Resort'. They have an 'F' B.B.B. rating. 32 of 49 complaints are unanswered.
"I'd love to get my money back, but if that's not a possibility, I would love for people to see this and don't fall for it," Cynthia said.
We don't know if Cynthia and her friend will see that money again. There are too many layers, multiple company names, and websites. Also the company says the money is 'non-refundable', and Cynthia signed an agreement.
You should be concerned if your vacation package doesn't give any contract terms, and if they want payment 60 days in advance. It might be a trap because, after 60 days, you lose your rights to claim a bank refund.
Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
635 W. 7th Street