Donít fall for travel scams
Itís autumn vacation time. If you are pinning your hopes on a too-good-to-be-true travel offer youíve received in the mail, email or over the phone, you can forget it. The scenario goes something like this:
"Congratulations, you have been selected by Sweepstakes Club (or some such thing). Pack your bags now for a free dream tripóa 5-day stay in the Bahamas." Letís just say you want to believe all this and make the call to collect your prize. Oops, thereís a "small fee" of $169 plus other costs. Oh, and just how will you be getting there from San Diego? Perhaps a $500 round-trip fare per person. Itís getting to be expensive, isnít it? Donít even think about the choice of hotel. "For another $350, we can upgrade your accommodations." Now comes the biggie: Would you be giving me your Visa or your MasterCard to accept this offer?" Letís say you tell her you want to think about it (you must be from another planet). "Iím sorry you have to accept the award now or we will offer it to another person." Goodbye. Time to hang up. You just saved $169 and "other costs." Plus you kept your credit card numbers to yourself.
Unfortunately, many Americans, thinking they are getting a bargain, give their credit card numbers to dozens of fraudulent travel and tour operators whose scams bilk consumers out of $12 billion annually.
Other travel scams claim that youíve won "travel discounts" in a sweepstakes. To claim your prize you have to dial a 900 number that will cost you an average of $24. What youíve actually "won" are meaningless discount certificates for airlines, hotels or cruises. Youíd have to shell out a lot of money to take advantage of them.
If you receive one of these mailings, throw it out immediately. If youíre called by phone, just say "no thanks." If you get it on your email, just delete. If youíre tempted by the offer, first check with the Better Business Bureau at 858-496-2131. They can also give you referral numbers to consumer affairs experts on various travel scams.
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Letís help make our firehouse beautiful. Most of the trees and shrubs are the original ones planted 30 years ago Ė theyíre aging rapidly and dying out Ė very unsightly. Businesses all along Bernardo Center Drive and RB Road have been updating their landscaping to provide a better image, and the Public Safety Committee of the RB Community Council is helping the SDFD do the same with the help of Evergreen Nurseries, the Boy Scouts and the firefighters themselves. This volunteer effort is being done because the SDFDís limited budget cannot fund this type of project. All donations are tax-deductible through the San Diego Foundation. Call Jim Harmon at 858-451-9550.
Courtesy RB NEWSJournal
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