Beware: Cruise Scam Targets Local Area

MONROE, LA -- Travelers beware. There's a company targeting this area with a cruise scam.

The Better Business Bureau of Northeast Louisiana is reporting that a cruise vacation company is trying to rip you off.

"Sometimes, there actually is no company at all," warned Jo Ann Deal, CEO of the BBB of Northeast Louisiana. "In this case, they just have such a strange and bizarre offer that it takes some shrewdness, some sophistication to be able to make a decision."

It starts with a phone call from a company called Caribbean Cruise Line based out of Florida.

A West Monroe man received the call. But luckily, did not become a victim.

"Told me 'congratulations, I won a free two night cruise to the Bahamas.' If it seems too good to be true, a lot of times it is," said Caleb McDonald of West Monroe.

McDonald told of how an automated voice asked him questions. After answering, he was transferred to a human representative.

"The only fees I would be in charge of paying were the $59 per person port fees," said McDonald. "Everything else was included. It was free. $118... but they needed the money up front just to kind of secure my spot. And they asked if I had a credit card."

During the call, McDonald's suspicions were confirmed after a web search. He hung up before giving any financial information away.

Unfortunately, according to the BBB, others aren't so lucky. And one local experienced a huge loss.

"The approximate amount is $3,000," said Deal. "He realized that he had paid the money but was never issued the documents that were supposed to come with it."

The BBB says consumers can use their website to check a company's grade and if it's BBB accredited.

"I didn't lose any money so i have no reason to be upset," stated McDonald. "I was more upset about elderly people-- they could call my grandmother tomorrow. She lives on fixed income. A lot of people do. And you lose money that you really can't get back."

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