Contact Kim: Vacation scams

Offers for free or discounted travel vouchers often come with a lot of hidden baggage.
Offers for free or discounted travel vouchers often come with a lot of hidden baggage.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Free airline tickets! Vouchers for free gas!

If you received an offer like that in the mail, you may be tempted to check it out, but those offers usually come with a catch.

We've previously warned you about vacation scams that lure you in with the promise of free airline tickets or deep discounts on getaway packages. But as we near Spring and Summer, a new wave of offers are coming out. The approach may be different, but the objective is the same.

Michele Mason with the Better Business Bureau said the offers usually ask you to attend a presentation, where you will be asked to spend thousands of dollars to get discounts on vacation memberships.

If you do attend a presentation and decide to bite the bullet because you think you're going to get thousands in savings on a great investment… prepare to be disappointed.

"Once you go to use the vouchers and book travel, you compare it to what you could do on your own and you see there's no savings. You have lost the investment because you have given thousands of dollars to this company," said Mason.

As for the vouchers for free airline tickets and gas that got you to come to the presentation in the first place?

"Many times there are so many restrictions tied to them, not to mention fees you have to pay in order to get them, that they are not of any value to you," said Mason.

A lot of times these companies use the names of reputable companies like airlines, cruise lines, even sites like CheapTickets that offer vacation planning. Hiding behind those names lends credibility to their offers. Nine times out of ten, however, those names are used without permission.

As always, do your homework.

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