A Caribbean cruise line scam preys on the desire for a Caribbean vacation. It works like this. You receive a cold call (a call you haven’t requested). Usually you are asked to take a quick survey. You are told if you take the survey you are eligible to win a free cruise. The cruise is advertised as a three day two night Caribbean cruise with all food and entertainment included.
After you are told that you have, indeed, won this cruise you will be asked for your credit card number. Why? Because the free cruise doesn’t include port fees. Usually these fees are said to range from $60 – $100 per person (never give your credit card number out to a cold caller.) People who gave their credit card number out at this point just handed valuable financial information over to someone whose corporate identity they’ve never identified. This is an invitation to credit card fraud and identity theft. If you do give out your credit card number, you’ve just become the latest victim of the Caribbean cruise line scam.
People who have attempted to take this free cruise quickly realized they weren’t done paying yet. Frequently they were next charged for gratuities. Those who questioned the charge were told all cruise lines do this (and many cruise lines, in fact, do charge this fee). However, many people also discovered unasked for “upgrade” charges on their credit card. Only free upgrades should be assigned passengers without permission!
The next part of the Caribbean cruise line scam is actually picking up the tickets. The cruise departs from West Palm Beach. Yet the lucky winners have reported being told to pick up the tickets in Fort Lauderdale (a distance of almost fifty miles!). Why? Because before the tickets can be picked up, the winners must sit through a time share sales pitch.
So…whose behind this Caribbean cruise line scam? Good question! The winners are told they’ve won a trip through Caribbean Cruise Line. A visit to their website discloses you will enjoy your cruise on the Bahamas Celebration. The Bahamas Celebration is actually a cruise ship owned by the well-known Celebration company. Caribbean Cruise Lines own no ships and the Florida Better Business Bureau reports 1267 complaints registered against the company.. They’ve received a grade of F.
Caribbean cruise winners have reported paying over $300 for their free cruise. The same cruise, booked through Celebrity? Around $200. There have also been reports of further credit card fraud after people gave their credit card number to the company.