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Apr 8, 2014 2:14 PM by Faye DeHoff

BBB alerts Tucson consumers to 'US Airlines' travel offer

TUCSON - A warning from the Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona to Tucson-area consumers about recent mailings appearing to be from a non-existent company.

The company, called "US Airlines," includes vouchers for round-trip airline tickets. While the mailings do not indicate the name of the company responsible for them, consumers tell BBB that the mailings are connected to a discount travel club called "Global Vacation Deals", located at 5151 Oracle Road. In order to collect the airline vouchers, consumers say they must attend a sales seminar at the Global Vacation Deals office.

A phone call placed by BBB to Global Vacation Deals Project Director, Jeremy Russo, seeking more information about the business was not returned.

The Global Vacation Deals website- www.globalvacationdeals.net - is virtually identical to the websites of several other travel companies, including www.accesstraveldeals.com , www.selectedvacations.com , www.lifetimetraveldeals.com and www.reliabletraveldeals.com . All the sites have nearly identical home pages, testimonials and other information.

Two testimonials on the Global Vacation Deals website match verbatim two reviews left in 2010 on the website for Tennessee-based White Oak Lodge and Resort, although the URL for globalvacationdeals.net was only registered in August of 2013, according to a WHOIS search.

Kim States, BBB President, said the mailings have the capacity to mislead the public, using a company name similar to US Airways. "People have every reason to be wary of these mailings. There is no company called US Airlines," States said.

Several Tucson-area residents have contacted BBB in recent weeks, asking about the mailer. The mailers have no return address and claim that the sender has "attempted contacting" the recipient "several times without success."

On its website, Global Vacation Deals calls themselves "the nation's leader in discount travel agency promotional appointments." The site says that it has more than 28 locations. That same information is on the websites for Access Travel Deals, Selected Vacations, Lifetime Travel Deals and Reliable Travel Deals. One of the websites that is identical to the Global Vacation Deals website is selectedvacations.com , which BBB in Phoenix says belongs to an 'F' rated company called American Travel Deals that claims a Scottsdale mailing address. BBB has recorded 65 complaints against the business. Most consumers complained that the mailings are deceptive or misleading. In its Business Review for American Travel Deals, BBB says that "US Airlines" and "American Airways" (another name used by the company) "are companies that do not exist." BBB says it has been unable to confirm a physical address for this company after numerous attempts to locate it. BBB's Phoenix office has made several attempts to reach principals of the company, but did not receive a reply.

BBB offers the following tips when receiving unsolicited offers in the mail:
· Make sure you know exactly who sent the mailing. If you can't identify the business or individual, you probably should not give them your business.
· If the mailing includes an offer for a gift, make sure you understand exactly what will be expected of you to get the gift.
· Do not be pressured into doing business with a company.
· Do not enter into any agreement without understanding it completely.
· Ask a company for references and contact them before doing business.
· If you make any payment, pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the charge.

For more consumer news or to find a Southern Arizona business you can trust, visit www.bbb.org/tucson >.

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