The Office of the Attorney General in Guam has warned residents of a cruise ship scam that is becoming more prevalent involving callers who claim they are offering prizes from cruise ships. The scam had previously died down but recently resurfaced due to the recent arrival of the Sun Princess, explains the AG’s office.
For the past few months, local Guam residents have been contacted by fake travel agencies, mostly based in Malaysia, offering them tickets to “promotion parties” at several beach locations around the island. At the parties, the residents would receive a “prize,” but then the scammer would ask for the individual’s identification information to steal their identities.
The scammers used several names for the fake travel agencies, including Asia Pacific Travel, Classical Traveling, Crystal Line Tourism and Viva Travel Agency. They would then inform the individuals that the events would be taking place at beaches including FaiFai, Family, Gun, Hagåtña Harbor, Port Authority and Tagåchang.
“I cannot stress this point more; if it sounds too good to be true, it is,” said Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas of the scam. “You are strongly advised not to comply with such solicitations; it could put you in a terrible financial situation. Hang up immediately if it sounds too good to be true.”
Two scam victims have already contacted the AG’s Consumer Protection Unit after they received phone calls from an alleged representative of Aloha Travel Cruise Ship, informing the individuals they had won $130,000. The scammer told the individuals that the Aloha Travel Cruise Ship was scheduled to dock at the Hagåtña Harbor, also known as Hagåtña boat basin, but a cruise ship cannot dock at boat basin, said Bernie Alvarez, Consumer Protection Unit advocate.
The AG’s office urges residents not to give out personal information, especially not their social security numbers or bank account information. Anyone who was contacted by one of these cruise line scammers is encouraged to contact the consumer advocate at the AG’s office.
Unfortunately, scams are not just restricted to phone calls. Scammers and con artists often go aboard cruise ships or appear at ports commonly called on by major cruise lines, trying to lure unsuspecting victims into giving them money or their personal information. Thieves are also found aboard many cruise lines and even drug smugglers, who can place illicit substances inside the luggage of other innocent cruisers.
Maritime lawyer Charles R. Lipcon, of Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., warns cruise travelers to be wary of these types of incidents in his book, “Unsafe on the High Seas.” It is important that cruise passengers keep their personal identification cards, passports, money, and any other valuables in their stateroom’s safe at all times to prevent scammers from robbing them. Those who have already become the victims of a crime on the high seas are encouraged to turn to Lipcon’s maritime lawyers for assistance in filing a claim and protecting their rights.
Lipcon’s cruise ship injury and crime lawyers work hard to help you and your loved ones obtain justice for your pain and suffering and any compensation you are entitled to. Having represented both passengers and crewmembers involved in cruise line crimes or accidents since 1971, our maritime attorneys will work diligently towards a successful outcome. Call us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case options.
PHOTO SOURCE: panoramio.com