We get these checks at my house all the time as well, and I personally always toss them, because at the very least what will happen if you call them is they will ask you for a lot of personal information - including a credit card number (to "secure" the cruise reservation which you have not made yet).
They will tell you are responsible for any additional fees (port taxes, sales taxes. etc) and then also offer you upgrades (at a price). There will be blackout dates when you are not allowed to travel.
What they do is play a phone tag waiting game with you where the "free" cruise is never quite available, but if you want to book another date and accommodations, they can do that. The trick is that they will already have your cash deposit, which may be non-refundable. Most people eventually walk away which is what they are hoping you will do.
Now to confuse the situation, Carnival has given away a LOT of free cabins in the past month. That is a legit promotion done by Carnival and not a 3rd party. Hundreds of people were given free cabins and could upgrade them for $40 pp per category. Taxes & gratuities also had to be paid. I know several who received them.
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
My Personal Cruise Blog: My Cruise Blog
Future Cruises: Carnival Triumph-Caribbean-7/28/2014, Carnival Legend-South Pacific-8/30/2014, MSC Preziosa-Mediterranean-10/25/2014, MSC Fantasia-Mediterranean-11/2/2014, Navigator of the Seas-12/14/2013, Norwegian Jewel-1/3/2015, Emerald Princess-1/11/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/2/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/15/2015.
The ladies that schedule these presentations at the Highlands actually get a little rude when you call to cancel.
My reason to cancel was two-fold, and legit. My wife did have plans already set for Sunday when I went and double booked up us.
But after reading in a previous post that....
20830 North Tatum Blvd, Suite 125, Phoenix, AZ 85050
...was the Highlands Resort scam address...that sent off the warning light above my head.
I told the lady we had other plans, and after a little research I think this is a scam and we were not going to participate. That offended her and she became extremely defensive. More warning lights! Desperation set in on her side. She went on and on about the Highlands being in biz for 10 years, and associated with a Sedona resort. Eventually I told her in a non-threatening, nonchalant way...."Ya know, I kinda do enjoy coming to these presentations and F&^%ing with people who sell this stuff, but I don't want to waste anyone's time."
THAT really offended her. So I guess this scam is hiring cotton eared church ladies to set appointments. She wanted to know if I "kiss my wife with that mouth." I told yes I do and she likes it.
She hung up.
If this were a reputable firm I would not have talked to her like that. But if this were a reputable firm I doubt she would have responded the way she did - and then hung up.
That confirms it in my mind. SCAM + SCUM = Stay Away!!!
Lately I have been getting the "windows" scam phone call all the time.
That is the one where someone calls (east Indian accent) and says "This is greg, I am calling you from "Windows" about your computer. We are getting messages here from your computer that tells us you have a virus."
The first time I played along to see where it would go - they eventually asked me to search and find a specifc file (a .dll) and then told me to delete it.
That was where I called their bluff.
After another four or five calls I started doing what AZ-cruisin' did. I got extremely rude and pornographic with them. The giy on the phone was aghast at what I was saying for a few minutes, until I stopped and after a silence he said "... hmmm, haha, yah, good fun" and still tried to get me to delete that file. So, I started up again, he finally hung up.
I have done timeshare demos here in PHX that led to a night in Sedona. It was legit and a nice place, but one night is not worth the drive up there.