I've actually read a few postings on cruise critic about this 'deal' and people who really did go on the cruise. The window is very very small, the cruise line (Celebration?) that they put people on is very very bare bones, but the verdict was it wasn't a terrible deal to sit through a time share presentation and get a weekend crusie out of it. There are good and bad experiences in the comments
If any has filled in any form, Internet or other forms, your phone number is known. I never got phone calls on my cell phone until i started using it for my primary number when ordering things off the internet, or registering for things. They can grab your number from anywhere. I find that many college students (actually many people) enter their phone number into social media such as Face Book as part of their profile. My phone syncs Facebook to my friends. You would be surprised as to how many of those are entered - mostly younger people who use it for people to text them
Seriously though, I think we've all been scammed at some point until we learned and hopefully didn't suffer too much financial loss.
Many years ago my husband and I encountered the time share scam. We didn't know what it was and went to one of their "presentations". We faced high- pressure sales tactics (non-stop bombarding; one sales rep would do his bit then the next would pick up, machine-gun rapidity. It was like being in a police station being grilled in a murder investigation. No exaggeration here!) Silly me! I thought that I should honestly tell them that we had no interest in timeshare, that we didn't want to waste their efforts and that we would be leaving. They tried to prevent me from going to the washroom early on; that should have been a sign! Doors were blocked and they tried to block us. I became more vocal and it became clear that we were not going to back down and that we might ruin their other sales. As we left, one sales rep took a swat at my husband! I swear to you all that I am not exaggerating anything that took place here! In the parking lot, we sat there in disbelief! Here in Canada? In Toronto? My overall impression was how absolutely pathetic and desperate these people were and how horrible that this was a job they felt they had to do. We didn't pursue it further as I'm sure they are lawyered up and I didn't want to waste any more time on them. They didn't get a cent from us, I'm happy to say.
Meanwhile, we have a policy that we do not do business on the phone or at the door. I hang up on sales pitches before they get into it. The computer one comes a lot but I ask them how they know that I even have a computer. Click. And I love to spread the word about these people!
I was visiting my ancient mother when her phone rang. I answered, and it was someone claiming to be from Microsoft. Her computer had a virus and they would tell her how to repair it. I knew this was a scam.
My reply was that Mom did not own a computer, so did not need their services. For some reason the caller could not understand that Mom did not have a computer. I found the exchange a bit amusing, and tried again to convince her that there was someone in the world who did not own a computer. Caller insisted that her records show there was a virus. That soon got boring so I hung up. It just defied logic.
I have gotten those calls, as has my husband and my 89-year old mother.
I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.
I think I told this story earlier -- my father got sucked into the Microsoft scam a few months ago. And he didn't even know he'd been scammed until computers came up in conversation at Christmas dinner, and he mentioned how happy he was with the service they'd provided. Particularly fixing a printer driver problem he'd been having. That's the weird thing about this particular scam: they're selling ridiculously overpriced service, unsolicited and fraudulently representing Microsoft, for something you almost certainly don't actually need ... but at least that's all they're doing. They're not harvesting your identity or other info from your computer, which would be far, far worse. My dad was out $250 or so, but at least that was the end of it.
(I tell you, for a man who's so incredibly cynical, it's amazing how gullible he is when it comes to sales pitches.)
Re: the cell phone cruise one, I just got one of those calls a couple of days ago. And it was while my phone was off so it was a voicemail recording. So I had to pay usage to listen to the recording. Only $0.60, nothing compared to $300, but it's the principle that irks me.
Is this the one that starts out with a foghorn?
"Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher
Brian - that is why I usually text stop. For months after getting my Android phone I would get a monthly text from some place call cell-flirt. I ignored them because I didn't know what it was, I never asked for it and it was long before I started using my cell number as my primary number. We call Verizon once we noticed the charge and they removed the charges and told us to do the STOP thing to those unsolicited texts. Until this current one, I have never had a repeat or follow-up text
Since this was an unsolicited one after the STOP, I texted: STOP THIS IS A SECOND TIME YOU GOT STOP> CONTINUES I CALL MY CELL SERVICE PROVIDER. (Verizon had suggested that the STOPs be in CAPS)
There's one going in my neighbourhood now - someone comes to the door looking vaguely official (ID on a lanyard, logo'd golf shirt, clipboard) and says they are here to check on your water heater. If you let them in, they go look at it and tell you it's time to replace it. At some point they ask to see your latest gas bill, because they need that info. If you fall for it, a new water heater gets installed and you have to pay for it.
Other than the semi-official looking people at the door from vaguely official sounding companies (and they are usually friendly young college kids), people fall for it because for many, many years water heaters were supplied/rented from the gas company that had has a monopoly in this region, and that gas company in many neighbourhoods still comes around to read your meter if it's inside the house. So people are used to letting these sorts of people in the house, showing them the bill, and having their heater replaced.
However, that gas company no longer installs water heaters - new ones have to be bought from other companies, and there are a lot of them, but most people don't realize that - and that's who's coming to your door trying to get your business without you realizing you are giving it away. And it doesn't help that regulations require the gas company to include the billing for the water heater installation and rental or sales on their bill for gas usage - the same one we've all been getting as long as anyone can remember. So much of the time, the person who got the new water heater and is now paying for it has no idea they actually had a choice, and probably didn't need a new one in the first place.
I'm sure the gas company has tried to communicate this - I found the details easily enough on their website - but when you've been getting a monthly invoice from the same outfit for decades, most people likely don't look very closely at it. Even when they have inserts that say "important" most of the time it isn't, so I throw them out without even looking at them.
I've had at least a dozen of them come by since we moved here last summer.
Has anyone here ever gotten the hitman email scam? I did once, but I knew it was a scam right away so it didn't scare me. I've gotten dozens of 419 type emails, I usually just read them for my own amusement and then delete them. No point in replying. For some reason it's always my Yahoo email account the one that gets the 419 emails.
And if anyone needs proof that those hitman emails are in fact scams, I got that particular email about 3 or 4 years ago and so far I'm not dead. But I understand that some people might get frightened, especially if they're not aware of this form of scam.
We get the water heater guys regularly. Another rule: never let anybody in your house and never show anybody your personal correspondence!
I've never been one to give out my account number or credit card info over the phone and definitely not for a deal from an automated offer. Actually I've never bought anything over the phone... I do shop a lot online but I always make sure it's a secure site. The majority of my purchases go through Amazon or Ebay and I always use PayPal. I like that it's secure and they have protection against stuff like this.
I'm to the point now where I don't answer numbers I don't know. I figure if it's important enough they'll leave me a message...
All the scam stories you guys are sharing make me so mad....just when I think there can't possibly be more scammers and scams...more arise.
Anyway, there's a whole website devoted to this Caribbean Cruise scam, www.caribbeancruisescam.com, and it says under Florida law, people who buy vacation certificates (i.e., a certificate for a vacation to be scheduled in the future) are entitled to receive a refund within thirty days. I wrote a stern letter for my niece to send, citing this law and requesting an immediate refund. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll issue it...though I'm sure they'll try to claim they are not subject to the Florida law. I am not super-hopeful that my niece will get the credit card company to reverse the charge, since she did authorize it, but I suggested she submit it anyway, on the theory that they didn't disclose the timeshare presentation, among other things, so as far as I'm concerned, their behavior was fraudulent. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
"Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode
I'm sorry your niece got scammed. I don't really have much more to add that hasn't already been said. But its stories like this and others people have said above that make me realize I'm not as paranoid as I think I am when I think everyone is trying to scam you all the time. I never even answer my phone anymore. I let the machine pick up every time just so I can avoid these people.
Back in 2010 I was staying at my dad's and due to his illness, I was picking up all calls because of his business operation; he didn't want them going straight to machine. One of those "you just won $4 million dollars and a brand new car" people called, I rudely said I'm not interested and hung up (rudely because why should I be nice to a scammer). Not ten seconds later the same guy calls back and says "why did you hang up on me?"!! Seriously?! He called back?! He got a few choice words and another hang up.
We had a similar experience years ago. It was actually a boat timeshare, and they used similar tactics to keep you in the room where the presentation was. My fiancée was too polite to tell them to go to hell and walk out, but I wasn't. The presenter didn't swat us, but he did taunt my fiancée, asking him if he was going to look like a cheapskate in front of his woman, and as I dragged him out, switched to taunting him for being henpecked. The free buffet (squares of velveeta cheese and such) was so awful our cheap asses had to go to the early bird dinner at 4:30 pm. Never mind that the presenter had filthy nails and was coked out of his mind.Many years ago my husband and I encountered the time share scam. We didn't know what it was and went to one of their "presentations". We faced high- pressure sales tactics (non-stop bombarding; one sales rep would do his bit then the next would pick up, machine-gun rapidity. It was like being in a police station being grilled in a murder investigation. No exaggeration here!) Silly me! I thought that I should honestly tell them that we had no interest in timeshare, that we didn't want to waste their efforts and that we would be leaving. They tried to prevent me from going to the washroom early on; that should have been a sign! Doors were blocked and they tried to block us. I became more vocal and it became clear that we were not going to back down and that we might ruin their other sales. As we left, one sales rep took a swat at my husband!
Keep in mind that the sales presentation is always going to be a hard, aggressive, pressure filled one. It's a lot of crap to go through for several hours just to get a cheap cruise. Really, who wants to be out at sea on a cheap cruise? You get what you pay for on those deals.
About three years ago, I was out of a job and searching fruitlessly. I went to an interview with a company who books these crappy cruises and witnessed the agents making great money, but it's a scam. They are not employees and are given a script and lectured to not deviate from, and are held liable for any customer complaints, chargebacks, or god forbid, legal action. It's really a sleazy business. Deal directly with reputable booking agents or the company themselves. These scams prey on people not only to go on the crappy cruise, but also on their (non) employees, who are not always scumbags, though most of them probably are.
Good to know we aren't being overly paranoid. And good to share all this.
No, Ft. Lauderdale. I think the "office" (boiler room) was next door to a "pain clinic" (drug dealer's place of business). I went to several scam type sales rooms at that time, including one that promised if you really hate men and want to get revenge on them, you could make 5k and more monthly in phone chat. I guess the premise was you pretended to be a cheerleader or somesuch, and kept them them coming back for more until they had spent all their money? I did not hate men sufficiently to get the job.leesaleesa, just curious, was this in the Toronto area?