Complementary Bahamas Cruise
Earlier this week I got a robot call to take a survey and I would get 2 tickets for a "Complementary Bahamas Cruise" for taking time to answer the questions. The survey was basically inquiring if I would be willing to try some new muscle medicine that would be available only by a prescription. It also appeared that the survey was doing some data gathering such as asking how many people were in the household. Since I there was no penalty for giving the wrong answer, I volunteered some unique data.
About 10 minutes later, the phone rang and it was a live person congratulating me on the Complementary Bahamas Cruise. The lady went on to talk about the cruise on the Grand Celebration. While she was talking, I was Googling all about the cruise boat and the scam. I found out that the Grand Celebration is basically more of a shuttle boat than a cruise line. There's lots of information about the cruise on Yelp and Trip Advisor. Then read what a news station found out about the scam.
I played along with the whole scam pretending to want to go on the cruise. The longer they talk to me the less time they will talk to someone who isn't educated about the scam.
Surprise Surprise...It turns out that it isn't all free. Apparently you have to pay the $59 dollars per person in taxes otherwise, you can't get off the island.
Suddenly this complementary cruise was now going to cost $118. Once I heard that money was involve it was time to end it.( Also I am sure that this "payment" wouldn't be refundable.)
I ended the call simply by telling the person that we only carry American Express. That shocked the scammer and the called ended shortly after, but not before I heard a strange blimp sound.
Thanks to SoundCloud, you can hear the ending part of the conversation. This is perfectly legal recording because the operator started off the call letting me know that they were recording the call for quality purposes. Its only fair that I have a personal copy of the call.
The moral of this story is that if someone calling you with some complementary deal, chances are there will be some kind of catch. However, I encourage you to play along with the scam and keep them on the phone as long as possible. Have fun playing the "Wow, this is the best deal ever!" customer. Then make the call as difficult for the operator as possible. Try to get them to hang up on you.