Beshear: Beware of ‘free’ ocean cruise scam

Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a scam alert today to help Kentuckians avoid being swindled by a free ocean cruise scam.

Kentuckians are reporting a phone call claiming they have won a free cruise. The caller, who often pretends to be a travel agent, says in order to accept the free cruise, the consumer must make a deposit or pay an upfront booking fee. The caller claims the deposit is “no risk” and is fully refundable.

Once the deposit is made, however, the phony agent makes-off with it and never provides the cruise.

“No matter the time of year, con artists are constantly trying to take advantage of travelers seeking an affordable vacation package, especially an ocean cruise,” Beshear said. “Our core mission is to protect Kentucky families, especially senior citizens, from scams and con artists.”

Beshear said not all cruise deals are a scam, and offers the following tips to help Kentuckians spot and avoid a scam.

Be suspicious of winning a prize you never signed up to receive.

Watch for high-pressure tactics where a caller wants you to act quickly.

Study company and travel agent reviews online and consider any negative reviews.

Ask for booking and reservation confirmation numbers directly from the cruise company rather than the travel agency or agent.

Avoid using a wire transfer, gift cards or cash to pay a deposit.

Verify the travel agency is registered to do business in Kentucky on the Secretary of State’s website.

Beshear encourages anyone with information regarding a travel scam to report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 888-432-9257.

To help Kentuckians stay up to date on new and trending scams, Beshear launched Scam Alerts – a communication service that alerts Kentuckians when con artists are on the attack. Sign up for Scam Alerts by texting the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311) or enroll online at and select text message or email alert.

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