Sunday Travel Section Recap - April 22nd
Weekend Photo - Luxor, Egypt

I paid $6,995 for a travel club membership — did I just get scammed?

travel graphicCathy Evans doesn’t fit the profile of a typical scam victim. She’s an account manager for a technology company in Boston, and she likes to think of herself as a discerning customer.

So when she got a voice mail on her cell phone offering her a “free” cruise, she did what most savvy consumers do: she deleted it.

But Evans’ boyfriend, who also got the same call, thought the “exclusive, members-only” discounts offered through a travel club called Pacific Palm Destinations in Woburn, Mass, looked appealing.

“He really wanted to go on the trip,” she says.

They attended one of its seminars and they both liked the pitch. “They claimed that they are the largest wholesale travel club and that you can buy any kind of vacation for a fraction of what you’d pay on Orbitz,” she says. Also, the renewal rate was just $169 a month, or $2,028 a year — a fraction of her initial $6,995 membership. She signed up with her credit card on the spot.

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