The Coronavirus pandemic has had a harmful effect on many industries and the cruise industry has been hit particularly hard due to safety concerns about taking a cruise at this time or even in the near foreseeable future. This has caused many people who have booked cruises for the Summer to either cancel their cruise reservations asking for either refunds or credit for future cruises called Future Cruise Credits. As could be expected scammers are taking advantage of this situation and calling, texting and emailing people posing as cruise company employees asking for credit card numbers or bank account information in order to process requested refunds or Future Cruise Credits. The truth is that the cruise companies have no need of either your bank account information or your credit card number in order to process a refund or provide you with Future Cruise Credits. In regard to refunds, the cruise line will send you your refund in the manner that you originally paid them. If you paid using a credit card, the cruise line will already have your credit card information and will add the refund to the card they have on file in their records. In regard to Future Cruise Credits they will merely apply the credits to the account information they already have for you. In addition, if you receive a telephone call and your Caller ID indicates the call is from your cruise line, you cannot trust it because it is a simple matter for a scammer to “spoof” the phone number of a cruise line and manipulate your Caller ID to make it appear as if the call is coming from your cruise line.
Recognizing that your cruise line will not be contacting you asking for your credit card information or your bank account information under any circumstances in regard to getting a refund for a cancelled cruise or getting Future Cruise Credits for a cancelled cruise is critical. Anyone asking for that information is a scammer and not an employee of a cruise company. If you do have issues with either a refund or a Future Cruise Credit you should either go through the travel adviser you used to book the cruise or, if you did not use one, you should contact the cruise line company directly by phone or email through contact information you can get from the cruise line company’s website. It is also important to remember that often people are targeted for these types of scams because they have put information about their upcoming cruise on social media thereby giving important information that can be used by a scammer to scam you. Limiting the amount and nature of information on social media that can be manipulated and used against you is a good idea.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”
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