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    Our Mailing Address:
    Rainbow Investigations
    513-18th Avenue SW
    Calgary, Alberta
    T2S 0C6

    Better Business Bureau of Southern Alberta

    Rainbow Investigations
    Travel Scams

    (403) 245-0533 / (403) 651-9049

    Over the years Rainbow Investigations has received many emails from consumers unhappy about travel clubs. In fact, one of the Canadian travel clubs have let it be known that they don’t like us, and we suppose that ruffling a few feathers is always the price of exposing what is going on!

    Here is a summary of what to watch for when seeking travel arrangements:

    A) Discount travel clubs

    If your travel club is asking for more than a few dollars for membership, they are probably scamming you. They will offer a discounted menu of trips (of course it is discounted — they said so didn’t they?), only available to members. For this membership, you get the privilege of booking the trip, probably a substandard product and a newsletter. They get your money plus the commission paid by the travel supplier. It’s a great asset to anyone’s cash flow. Travel clubs should be geared towards social engagement and any dues or membership paid should be reasonable and cover only the true costs. There are a number of these clubs in both the U.S. and Canada

    B) Deceptive pricing

    Know the real price. When going to an airline website to book a flight, there are usually options there, and always be concerned about looking to see if a sale is based on a return trip. Always read the fine print.

    C) Timeshares

    Most timeshare offers are made while you are already on vacation and your guard is down, but many are from contest entry forms where you fill out a form, or where you will receive a gift for attending a presentation.

    Very simply, if you attend a presentation you are now vulnerable. Ask that any information be sent to you. Once in a presentation, you may have put yourself in fiscal danger.

    There are some timeshares, which we are familiar with, to which we don’t think are scams that also use this marketing route. We would love to see a timeshare who promotes them as having a “clean” presentation.

    Another recent phenomena to which are aware of the is the unsolicited emails that come to timeshare owners asking if the owners are prepared to sell their timeshares – obviously the people here are looking for cheap assets which they can sell to make money.

    Check out the company

    Are they members of a professional organization such as the American Society of Travel Agents, Association of Retail Travel Agents, or the Cruise Lines International Association? Do they belong to a local Chamber of Commerce? These are all indicative of someone who is serious about doing business with you.

    How long have they been around?

    Question the experience and tenure of the employees. Are there any complaints with the Better Business Bureau? Don’t pay with cash or checks. Remember, just because someone says they have the best deal, does not mean it is so. Anyone can open an online store in less than ten minutes for less than $200? It will take less time than that to recoup the investment tenfold.

    Do your due diligence

    ASTA’s consumer site, TravelSense offers more tips for keeping your travel purchases safe from the con artists. If you suspect you have been a victim of travel fraud, notify ASTA’s consumer affairs office.

    Here are some travel scams:

    Rainbow Investigations Travel Stories

    Alberta Travel Agents Charged With Fraud

    Two Edmonton based travel agents have been charged with fraud by Alberta Government Services...
    June 14, 2004

    Alberta Travel Clubs Charged With Misleading Consumers

    Two Alberta travel clubs are charged with misleading the public...
    July 21, 2002

    Canadian Travel Agents Upset Over Air Canada On-Line Sale

    The Association of Canadian Travel Agents (ACTA) has fired off a strong protest letter to federal transport and competition authorities, demanding an investigation into an Air Canada seat sale that was only available to travellers from the internet (and therefore bypassing agents)…
    August 23, 2001

    Investigation Into Snowbird Vacations Yields No Charges

    The Alberta Government Services have completed an investigation into Snowbird Vacations International, after Alberta consumers complained the company was exerting undue pressure during sales presentations...
    August 23, 2001

    Resorts Exchange International - Settles Lawsuit with FTC over Vacation Travel Scam

    The Florida firm target marketed its travel packages primarily through unsolicited faxes…
    August 23, 2001

    Travel Scams

    Also we give you some tips on how to avoid being a victim of a travel scam…
    February 05, 2001

    Timeshare Follow-Up

    The investors succeeded in a bid to push the company into bankruptcy, to protect the financial interests of the investors…
    June 16, 2000

    Possible Time Share Scam

    Alpine management offered to give those people who re-invested the $2500 a seat on the board of directors…
    May 15, 2000

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    Private Investigation
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    Phone: (403) 245-0533 Cellular: (403) 651-9049 Fax: (403) 245-0544 E-Mail: