Cruise Scams – "Free" Cruise Ship Scams on the Rise

Don't Be a Target

YouMail's Ongoing Fight Against Scammers



"Congratulations...you've won a free cruise!"

Sounds exciting? Well, on the surface, it definitely sounds tempting. But that's before you learn that you were part of a very elaborate scam. It starts with a simple phone call, and one that our data at YouMail shows is becoming more and more common.

What You Should Know



We'd all like to believe that a random call letting us know that we've won a free cruise to the Bahamas was as simple and innocent as the caller makes it sound. But it's a scam. And here's how it works:

  1. The Offer. You're told you've won a free cruise or have secured a discounted rate, but you'll be asked to provide a credit card number to pay a deposit or processing fee. You may even be asked for your passport or Social Security number. Don't do it! Your card could be charged "port fees" and other incidentals that could potentially cost far more than if you bought the trip yourself! Provide your Social Security or passport number and you risk future identity theft.
  2. The Sales Pitch. Some offers are just about locking you in for a timeshare. You'll have to sit through a few hours of a hard pitch.
  3. The Long-Distance Scam. These are often nothing more than a trick to run up your phone bill. To claim your prize cruise, you're told to call a 900 phone number or one with an area code of 876, 868, 809, 758, 784, 664, 473, 441, 284 or 246. Those codes seem fine, but are actually from foreign countries, with the clock running at $5 a minute or more. In the end, there's no promised vacation, just a really high phone bill.

What You Should Do



Any mention of a free cruise on a call from someone you don't know is most likely going to be a scam and it's your cue to hang up. It's not free, and there may not even be a cruise. Here are a few recommendations if you ever come across a potential scam:

  1. Ask questions.
    • How did you get my information?
    • What's the name of your company?
    • What is your website?
  2. Ask to see official documentation on the promotion.
  3. Study the details of your free-cruise offer and ask up front for all associated costs. Check the payment terms. Even if it's a real offer and NOT a scam per se, free cruise offers will come with alternate charges, which are likely much more than you'd pay if you bought the cruise directly.
  4. While on the phone do a quick Google search. You'll likely find entries of shared experiences.

Our BEST Advice



Don't answer calls from numbers you don't recognize! That's true even if it's from your own area code. Note that sometimes scammers "spoof" their phone number and hide their identity behind a number with a familiar local area code.

Find out more about the number. Check out YouMail's online phone directory to see if that number has negative reports or belongs to a known scammer.

Let calls from numbers you don't recognize roll to voicemail. Voicemail is your greatest asset against fraud. Many scammers will not bother leaving a voicemail message and if you utilize YouMail's voicemail solution, known scam callers will hear an "out of service" message causing them to remove your number from their call lists.

How YouMail Can Help Stop Scams Today



YouMail customers are protected from scammers, spammers and other unwanted callers. And it's 100% totally free. Our exceptional call blocking and caller ID capabilities effectively block calls and remove any and all numbers from robocaller lists – FOREVER.