Here’s how it works. When you’re on the beach, you’ll be offered scratch cards. They’re a euro or two, that’s all. But you could win a big prize. And guess what, you’ve gone and won a big one! All you’ve got to do is go along to a free holiday presentation to collect it.
Holidaymakers do. Heck, why not? It’s only a morning and it’s a real big prize! The
presentation’s slick and impressive and you’re offered the chance to join an exclusive holiday club offering exciting, value-for-money holidays all over the world. Only the very best accommodation and at really low prices – after all, you’re in the club.
And people sign up! Problem is you could get the same holidays at the same prices
online and even at your local travel agency. Even worse, by the time you get home, that holiday club has disappeared.
The OFT’s Advice
The OFT warns consumers about what happens. They’re saying that 400,000 UK consumers fall victim to these clubs at a cost of over £1 billion each and every year.
400,000! That’s a city the size of Bristol. This is a big scam and lots of ordinary people are being conned. The con-artists say that the special discounted offer is only valid for that day, encouraging people to sign up or miss out.
These scam-artists just won’t let you go. You’re never left alone to discuss anything
with your partner. And you are given a very limited time to view the contract!
The Bottom Line
The OFT says that if you go along to a presentation you should ask three simple questions. Do you give cooling off rights? Is everything you promised in the presentation in the contract? Can I take away the contract to consider at my leisure?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, walk away. That’s sometimes easier
said than done. Some presentations last so long that some people sign up just to get away.
The best advice is simple – don’t even buy the scratch card in the first place! Have a great holiday. Get a tan. Have a nice swim. Go and see the sights. And don’t get conned by this scam.
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