The Free Cruise Telemarketing Scam

So you received a call saying you’ve won a free cruise, or that you’ll earn a free cruise by answering some survey questions? Sounds too good to be true, right? We’ve already written extensively about specific phone numbers that have been calling with such offers over the past six months, but we thought it was time to discuss the scam in general, and provide a master list of numbers we’ve tracked so far about the scam.

You may be asking, if they give away a free cruise, maybe it’s worth answering the survey, right? The problem is, it isn’t really free, and in some cases there’s not really a prize at all. Yep – they get your survey answers, and you get a runaround that doesn’t always include a cruise. In other cases, I’ve heard of a cruise existing, but with hidden fees thrown in that doesn’t quite make it free, or even cheap. Or in another incarnation, no matter what dates you select, they aren’t available, but you’ll be offered an “upgrade” rate to get in when you want.

See where we’re going here?

The bottom line is that these people have been hammering the phone system, placing untold thousands of calls for such “free” cruises. That fact alone smells rotten, and you will be better served ignoring or hanging up on any such offer.  Why are they trying so hard to give something away?

Here’s a great article from last year, showing that the scam really hasn’t changed much since then. Further searching will reveal that this scam has been along much longer, for many years in fact. Not once have I come across someone who went through the process and didn’t feel scammed in some way.

As quoted in an earlier Waffles article about this scam…

A recent trend in telemarketing comes into play here, that of being compensated for filling out a survey. In the most common version coming from this number, people are asked to answer ten questions and will be rewarded with tickets to a cruise, perhaps to the Bahamas or a similar location. Sometimes they will make it sound like you’ve actually “won” a cruise and simply have to answer ten questions in order to collect your “winnings.”

There are lots of numbers jumping on this bandwagon, such as this one recently discussed here or this one that blew up phones around the country back in September. Ripoff Report claims that one of the similar numbers, 541-530-7708, belongs to United Public Opinion Group, found at surveycruise.com. I wasn’t able to verify this, however, but the website does show a business eerily similar to the one calling people from these numbers.

Many people have claimed that calls from them begin with a horn blowing and/or a message saying, “This is your captain speaking…” It’s hard to imagine different companies would have such a distinctive opening, so one must deduce that all of these cruise calls originate from the same company.

It’s unknown how many different firms are participating in this offer, but it’s most likely only a small handful of places, and perhaps even just one. The phone numbers they use are most likely spoofed, as they keep changing from week to week, and customers are unable to call them back.

Below is a list of recent phone numbers used to call as a part of this scam. Recent being August 2010 through January 2012. We’ll continue adding more numbers to it periodically, but keep in mind that they go through numbers rather quickly. At some point, someone is going to re-use one of these numbers. I feel sorry for that person, as these numbers are listed as spam all over the internet.

 

March 2013 Update
We’re hearing about a large volume of calls regarding this scam in Canada coming from 202-407-3261.

Article updated March 25, 2013

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119 Comments on The Free Cruise Telemarketing Scam

  1. Add this 458-201-0392. With a help of independent auditing and law firm, we are in the process to identify the exact location of these calls originating, and we have a narrowed it to california/Fremont area and Massuchussetts/Worecester area(s). It is done by few telemarketing agencies/Small IT consulting companies.
    FBI will soon be after these companies!. It is real no joke.

  2. 18004661524 add this to the list

  3. Please add (202)-407-3261.

  4. 202.407.3261

  5. Add this website. A dedicated site that exposes the free cruise scam that blew up your cell phone

  6. I just got a text message today (April 2nd, 2013) from “juliamorin126″ (@ yahoo.com) telling me I’ve “earned a CRUISE for-free call 888-998-6739 winning code# xxxx” I don’t use Yahoo, have no clue who Julia Morin is, and have never been on a cruise – or tried signing up for one – in my entire life. So, I searched google and found this website.

    ~ Scott

  7. I got a call like this just now (in Toronto) from 202-427-2637.
    They say “Press 1 for the survey” or “Press 9 to be removed from our phone list”. I pressed 9…

  8. I recieved an text message today stating greetings you gained a cruise vacation free and it came from ian_bennett0545…..the number is 888-840-4825. i was told all i would have to pay for is my port fees for $69. sounded sketchy…..so i hung up

  9. in form ant // April 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm // Reply

    888-840-4825 —add

  10. 321 559 2898 be carefull they ask for your banking account number for taxes fees this is a fraud

  11. 321 559 2898
    I also got this number, except they told me that I had been accepted for a disney trip I registered for. They told me to confirm my information, and they had my email right, which freaked me out, but my birthday was wrong. They didn’t tell me I won anything, only that i had been accepted for a trip I had registered for. I don’t have ANY recollection of registering ever for anything disney, but I DO enter a lot of contests…. so….

    Either way, I got a little freaked out by the fact that they had my email, so i tried calling them with a google number, and they kept hanging up. Then I looked them up and now realized they’re a fraud. Needless to say, it was a little sketchy how they had my email. That really caught me off-guard.

  12. Extensive research went into the making of http://www.thecaribbeancruisescam.com for everyone that needs help getting their money back and who to call for help. It worked for me and it’s worked for others too. Good luck.

  13. I just got a call from 866-701-6573 wondering if its a scam…. i signed up for one a while back and i dont know if i should call back or what!!! PLEASE HELP

    • This appears to be one of these telemarketers. You can ignore it unless there is some reason you need to talk to them due to a previous transaction.

  14. Can add 281-382-6532 to the list as of June 6, 2013.

  15. just got one from 8556790018 for a free cruise to the Bahamas. June 20,2013

  16. Haha, I just got one telling me to call 8556790018 as well. They’ve been busy!

  17. Add these 2 numbers:
    520 363 1007
    480 271 1861

    Both are about “Congratz you won a free cruise” first the survey , few hours layer the tele girl and her manager and his manager … lol

    The company they present is “Royal Bahama Cruise Line”
    Royal Bahama Cruise Line
    3208 E. Colonial Dr. STE 207
    Orlando,FL 32803
    Customer Care: Toll Free 1-800-291-1933,
    Monday – Friday 9 AM till 10 PM,
    and for your convenience Saturday 10 AM till 4 PM

    That is for your info :)

    They asked me if i would give them my card number over phone, and when i refused they asked me how and why and that i should trust them. Guys no company will ask for your Card number and id code over phone, it will be done by paper and such crappy thingies. Good luck and dont get scammed!

    Also one more phone 855 202 1214

    • “Guys no company will ask for your Card number and id code over phone”

      Call that 1-800 number you just watched on TV about No No… Get hat hair removed crap… pay over the phone?!?!? Read the reviews on that product but people out there buy into it some people like it and some “Act like you”

  18. Received the same type of text today on my cell phone (which, BTW, is a prepaid, but of course these people don’t care that I have to keep buying phone cards to make up for the time they use).
    The email address was [email protected]
    The phone number it left was the same as Kevin’s, except the last digit was an 8 instead of a 9. 855-679-0018

  19. Okay, I have just got to say… I DID work for this company they are based in Tampa, Florida. From what I have gathered is none of you understand the concept that you are getting a “Free Cruise” just imagine this for a moment…. If you go to “The Price is Right” and you win a “NEW CAR” do you think they will let you keep it without paying taxes on it? Not enough? If you go gamble at a Casino and you win BIG… Don’t you have to pay taxes on it before you can even spend it? Or you have to file a W-9 so you have to give some of it back later… $69 Port tax is a government tax that cannot be avoided. Raise your hand if you believe our government will give you things for free without paying for it in some fashion. Although I do not believe in how we get people to call our office. I have been on the cruise and it is what we say it is just get past the taxes and you will be fine. Reason I say I did work there and not still working there is because I made supervisor at my other job which covered my expenses. ONE MORE THING!!!! You people out there buying crap over the phone “makes your hair grown 10 times faster” if you can trust giving your information like that over the phone to those people you would likely get transferred to that Cruise Company. They say free they mean it as in The Cruise Itself… You just need to understand about tax issues that cannot be avoided.

  20. Mhakoi, interesting perspective. I definitely disagree with the method the company you worked for uses as marketing. There are probably better was to go about finding customers.

    Anyway, the only way I found this article is because the company apparently has our apartment’s elevator phone number. They literally called our elevator. It was the weirdest thing. No idea where the call came from, since it was just playing the message through the intercom. I’m sure the maintenance people have some way of finding it.

  21. I just got called on my cell from scammers (again). They tried to say that I won a FREE 2-day cruise to the Caribbean for answering 3 quick political questions. It sounded WAY too good to be true, so I started asking questions and they were REALLY slick. I mean, they gave me corp ID numbers, Customer service phone number, etc. They were extremely professional sounding too. I was put on hold and they had professional hold music. I was only to pay $59 per person for “Port Taxes”. $118 for 2 two, which was mandatory. Googled them and found a bunch of people complaining about it.

  22. 14166135802 For any Canadians, I just got a call from that number for a free cruise .

  23. I got a call from 334-202-8434 was a survey then called from 561-279-8434 their 800 # on their website is 800-291-1933
    They have including mine 3 complaints with the BBB unanswered by the company to the BBB and they are also not accredited.
    They show this “Port of Palm Beach District” 1 E 11th St #600 West Palm Beach, FL 33404
    (561) 383-4100 I just called it again same thing they pick up then hang up.
    Representing like a seal of approval – I googled it got a phone number that someone answered 3 times and just hung up saying nothing.

    They also use this mag as a ref I emailed them but have not heard back yet too soon as I just did it now.
    http://www.porthole.com/ContactUs.aspx

    It just pisses me off that these people can even get away with this- they pray on people that are slow of mind. So please keep doing what you are doing to make people aware.

  24. they called like 30 times in 10 minutes! add 2813682880, when i called back they said something but i couldn’t hear. i think it was a lady.

  25. Add this phone number: 1-202-465-5586
    They call you for same scam.

  26. Add the number 306-993-0640

  27. add 901 201 1949
    They make me mad.

  28. This one came from ontario Canada today, offering me a couple of Bahamas Cruise tickets for free after completion of a short survey. It was an automated message.
    1 (289) 378 3504

  29. add 2162825600

  30. I have experienced this 2 or 3 times a year in last few years. But, I have been getting an average of 3 or 4 calls a week in last 4 weeks. I’m in Canada and calls are coming mostly from an Ontario number, though also Nova Scotia.
    Numbers were:
    289-301-2258
    289-301-2257
    Various 902 numbers from Nova Scotia.

    Sometimes if I’m in an evil mood I screw with them. Pretend I have a bad stutter, told one young marketer I had the medical condition of Tourettes Syndrome. Once she acknowledged she knew what it was I proceeded to be really interested and then commenced to throw out really nasty words randomly. She and her supervisor wanted my credit card bad enough to listen to me call them every nasty word I could think of. If you are going to use this method to screw with them ensure you ask them if they know what Tourette’s is, (explain if necessary), and politely apologize in advance if your Tourette’s acts up and you begin to swear. They want your credit card so bad they wil agree to anything. Then just keep delaying the conversation avoiding giving your CC number, and start randomly throwing in words which are retaliated to the conversation. Bull}#it, amongst others work well.
    In my story they usually hang up non me as opposed to me hanging up on them.

    Good luck, be careful, and try to find inventive ways to screw with them.

  31. From British Columbia, Canada, add +117786543234. Just received this phone call few mins ago.

  32. Almost the same as the above number, with one digit difference, please add +1 788 654-3235

  33. Add this number to the list 214-316-9648

  34. add this number 1 289-301-2258

  35. Exactly this cruise scam. I get this phone call 2-3 times a month. Never pressed any key. Add 438-800-0478 to the list.

  36. saturday feb 8 2014 add this number 16475565944

  37. Add these as well:
    1-647-557-5021
    1-647-556-5406
    1-778-807-9600
    1-800-279-4869
    1-877-279-3100
    Got them since january 10th 2014

  38. Received a text today from “[email protected]” saying “Please claim your tickets to the Bahamas soon! Call 256 392 7561.” Googled the email address/provider, and nothing came up. Googled “free bahamas tickets text” and found this website. Please add this number to your list for DNC. Also, since a lot of us have started getting texts vs calls, it would probably be a good idea to add an update to the main article!

  39. we get these all the time here in BC canada from 16475575019, they give a press 9 to opt out of these and we will tak eyour number off our list YEAH RIGHT!!!! we get one a day for last 4 months soooo annoying

  40. Congratulations on winning tickets to the Bahamas! Call 305.615.3952

    I tooka sh-t, took a picture of it and texted it to the number :)

  41. Add phone number: 778-654-3241 Reached in Ottawa

  42. I received a text about an hour ago from ([email protected])

    Said “call us to claim your two tickets on our cruise. 954-507-7628″

    I’m in inland empire California

  43. Add 954-507-7628-came through as a text

  44. My husband got a text from 954-507-7628 telling him he won a free cruise he called them back. They told him all he had to do was pay taxes and stuff. He told them you just want my credit card information and I am not that dumb, they hung up on him.

  45. Pants Masterson // April 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm // Reply

    289-378-3504 is active and called me a few minutes ago.

  46. I just got this scam survey cruise call from (438) 800-0437. I live in Ontario, Canada. Thecall started with a recorded message. I figured it was a scam & hung up. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!! :)

  47. 2673096203

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