Vacation scammers preying on Hispanics sued by FTC


The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against companies that used Hispanic radio and television advertising to make their victims believe they had won a vacation, only to collect fees from them while failing to live up to their end of the bargain.

IN one case, the FTC worked with the Attorney General of Florida. They alleged that “… the defendants used Spanish-language radio and TV ads nationwide to offer a vacation package they claimed was worth thousands of dollars as a prize to callers who answered a simple trivia question. For instance, the defendants ran television ads proclaiming ‘Attention! This program has been interrupted. It’s time to win for the first thirty people that dial the number that appears on the screen and can tell me correctly how that famous Mexican comedian (Mario Moreno) was also known … If you know the answer … you are going to go to Disneyland …’ Callers were told they had won a prize, and that if they paid a fee of up to $400 they would receive their promised vacation package.”

It would then turn out that for one reason or another the victim failed to qualify for the vacation, and unfortunately, there were no refunds available either.

A second similar case used telemarketing to attract victims.

FTC said the scam was operated on a national basis, and was able to shut the operations down for the time being. “At the FTC’s request, the court halted the defendants’ allegedly deceptive practices and froze their assets pending further litigation,” the agency stated.

The defendants in the first case include 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.

The second case defendants include Holiday Vacations Marketing Corp., Happy Life Carribbean Corp., Happy Life Corporation of America Inc., Victor M. Ramirez, and Dario A. Jimenez Lopez, also known as Diego Lopez and Diego Jimenez.