A Florida company is targeting Costa Rica for its “vacation club” membership, which the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio (MEIC) warns is a scam bilking consumers out of thousands of dollars in false credit card charges.
Cynthia Zapata, director of the Oficina de Apoyo al Consumidor, Consumer Support office of the MEIC, explains that Millenium International, by way of telemarketing, is offering in Costa Rica promotional packages that includes a trip to Miami and Orlando, Florida.
The consumer is asked to provide a credit card number, expiration date and security codes, necessary to make a manual credit card charge that can be up to US$5.000 dollars on travel packages that do not exist. The callers explain that the packages offered will cost up to US$2.000 for four people. The amount is charged to the credit card but the travel offer is not received by the consumer.
According to Zapata, the company is not in Costa Rica and not registered with the MEIC and is asking consumers to not fall victim by providing any personal or financial information over the telephone to persons or companies unknown. Given that these fake tourism operators are not in the country, making it difficult to stop and prosecute.
Zapata said the company has been found to use the same modus operandi in other countries.
The name MilleniumOne website, pissedconsumer.com, says “Millennium International Miami Beach – BEWARE: Millenium international vacation club lies about prices and scam artists everywhere”. A web search for Millenium International results in a variety of internet articles about scams and fraud.
On its Facebook page, Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of Millenium, in a post dated Feb. 5 says the company itself has be a victim when in October 2013 its sales director left the company and with him 90% of the staff and the customer database. On Jan. 29, the same Facebook page says the company moved from Florida to Cancun, Mexico.
The MEIC believes the company works off a public access database of names and phone numbers to make the calls.
In fact, the Apoyo del Consumidor office telephone lines have receviei calls of travel package offers from Millenium, according to director Zapata