By Matt Gephardt
Produced by Cindy St. Clair
Edited by Aaron Colborn
Photography by Dan Dixon and Brian Morris
(KUTV) A company behind anonymous letters promising Utahns free air-fare is in legal hot water. The flyers showed up in mailboxes promising an âawardâ of "two roundtrip airline tickets," worth just under $1300.
Uncovering that the letters came from California based Vacation Smart International took a great deal of investigating as a March âGet Gephardtâ report showed. (http://www.kutv.com/news/features/gephardt/stories/vid_259.shtml
The letters didn't just go to Utahns, they canvassed other states as well. Now, officials in Connecticut are taking action against the company. The state’s attorney general and Department of Consumer Protection are cautioning consumers to “beware [a] travel and timeshare scheme." (http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?A=4187&Q=526056
Connecticut has filed a civil action against Vacation Smart International saying consumers that were offered "free cruises and air fare” were "unable to attain the promised free cruises or plane tickets."
In response, Vacation Smart International lawyer David M. Karen tells Get Gephardt they are cooperating. Karen say they have provided "documents and records," to Connecticut. They have not provided everything the state has requested because he says, "it would be unfair to customers to release their personal information to the government."
The Federal Trade Commission has taken note of Connecticut’s action calling it part of a major multinational effort to halt travel and timeshare resale scams. (http://ftc.gov/opa/2013/06/timesharerelease.shtm
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)