Victims of Vacation Package Prize Scam to Receive Refunds
The nationwide scam targeted primarily Spanish-speaking consumers
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is mailing 53,240 refund checks totaling more than $532,000 to consumers who paid VGC Corp of America for expensive vacation packages they never received.
Promised but never delivered
According to the FTC's complaint, VGC Corp advertised a vacation package worth thousands of dollars as a prize to consumers who called a toll-free number and answered a trivia question. Callers were told they had won, and that if they paid up to $400 in "taxes" or "fees" they would receive their prize.
The complaint alleged that callers did not receive the vacation packages as promised. The FTC and the Florida Attorney General's Office charged the defendants with violating the FTC Act and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, respectively.
"By working closely with the Federal Trade Commission , our two agencies have stopped this business from deceiving consumers," Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said. "This is an excellent example of state and federal agencies working together to protect consumers."
Banned from selling vacation packages
Under settlements with the FTC and the State of Florida, the defendants are now banned from selling vacation packages and are required to pay restitution to victims of their con.
The defendants in this case are VGC Corporation of America, also doing business as All Dream(s) Vacations, All Dreams Travel, Five Star(s) Vacations, 5 Star(s) Vacations, Total Tours, and Travel & Tours Corp.; All Dream Vacations Corp., also doing business as All Dreams Vacations; Violeta Gonzalez, also known as Violeta Rojas; Cesar A. Gonzalez; and Samir Jose Saer Rodriguez, also known as Samir Saer.
Be wary of scams
The FTC reminds those receiving checks that it NEVER requires consumers to pay money or provide personal account information to cash a refund check. If someone says otherwise or attempts to obtain such information—it's very likely a scam that should be reported to the FTC immediately.
Check recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days. Those with questions about this case can contact the FTC's refund administrator, Epiq Systems, at (844) 308-8911.