Recently there has been an upsurge in a travel scam that starts when you receive in the mail an official looking check for more than a thousand dollars that comes with the following message:

“Dear (your name),

Enclosed is your Travel Check Voucher.  This Travel Check Voucher can be redeemed for a certificate for 2 round trip airline tickets to anywhere in the continental US from any major international US airport.  Certain restrictions may apply.  Vacation Getaways and cruises are available for a limited time.  We have attempted contacting you on several occasions.  this will be your last chance to respond.  Note that this check voucher must be redeemed by  (closely approaching date).  If you do not claim your award, it will be transferred to the alternate.  This is a limited time offer and may be withdrawn at any time.  Flights fill quickly.  Please reference your check voucher number 117-181-349.  This travel check must be certified to be valid.”  The message goes on to provide a toll free number to call and a disclaimer that states “This is not a timeshare or land sales offer.”

The check appears to come from Continental Airlines, but it is not from Continental Airlines.  At close view you will also notice that the check is not even made payable to you but rather made payable to “Continental US on behalf of (your name).

The truth is that this is a scam.  It is not connected with Continental Airlines.  It is connected with a company that is selling travel club packages with sign up fees as high as $7,000 in order to qualify to receive the benefits appeared to be offered.


There is nothing fine in fine print and if you read the fine print, including to whom the check is made payable you will see that the offer is misleading and an obvious scam.  No one is sending you free money and you certainly cannot trust anyone who poses as another company offering you benefits.  The best thing to do when you receive this kind of a check or offer is to just throw it in the trash.